Skip to main content

Full text of "The tongue of time, and star of the states: : a system of human nature, with the phenomena of the heavens and earth. : American antiquities, remains of giants, geology, volcanoes, Egyptian and Indian magic, diet, dress, drinks, diseases, sleep, somnambulism, trances, resuscitation. : Also an account of persons with two souls, and of five persons who told colors by the touch"

See other formats


















» •• ««,•*■> ^nvwWr 









egyptian and 
Indian magic, 
















Preliminary Address, to all people who read, reflect, and reason. Varieties of 
style. Chaucer. Cicero. Biography. Milton. Addison. Celebrated 
Women. The Chinese. National Characters. Literature. Languages. 
Use of evil. The Crusades. The Holy Land. The refutation of atheism. 

Page 9—76. 


Man, Matter, and Mind. Prolongation of Life. Fossils. Remains of Giants. 
Volcanoes, and submarine Volcanoes. Geology. Niagara Falls. Theories 
of the World. Falling stones. Showers of stars. Formation of solids in 
the air. Stumps of trees ninety feet below the surface. Rafts. Coal beds. 
Mounds. Skeletons. The Deluge. American Antiquities. 

Page 77-121. 


Ancient Mounds and Fortifications. Remains of work shops, Walls, Pyra- 
mids, Palaces, and Cities. The Flood. Mr. Evans. Gov. Pownal. The 
Potatoe. Tobacco. Creation. Page 122—189. 


Superstition. Idolatry. Witchcraft. Dreams. Egyptian and Indian Magic. 
Somnambulism. Judicial Astrology. Phrenology. Animal Magnetism. 
Death of Julius Caesar. , Salem Witchcraft. Cases of Nancy Hazard, Jane 
C. Rider, Mrs. Cass, and Miss M'Evoy, who told colors by the touch. See- 
ing with the fingers; Hearing with the eyes. Optics. Sir Isaac Newton. 
Dr. Newton. Mr. Locke. Page 190—261. 


Of burying, embalming, and burning the dead. Of visions, voices, and im- 
pressions. Cromwell. Lord Herbert. Pausanias. Anaxagoras. Ros- 
common. A premonition defeated. Prediction of snow in June, fulfilled. 
The Indian and his tamed snake. Page 262 — 276. 


Enthusiasm. Buonaparte's Russian Campaign. French and American 
Revolutions. Roger Williams. William Penn. Edmund Burke. Robert 
Morris. Page 277—285. 



Of Sleep. Dreams. Sleep watching, sleep working, and sleep talking. 
Hippocrates. Question of the legality of telling certain dreams. Remark- 
able cases. Opium and the Poppy. Page 286 — 301. 


Universality of deception. Fascination of serpents. Inquiry after universal 
opinions, and the common lot of mankind. Bishop Heber. The Veddahs. 
Mr. Marsden. Locke. Reid. Stuart. Brown. The Craniology of Gall. 
The Quaker. Evil Spirits. Socrates. Plato. Page 302—317. 


Life. Health. Death. The Soul. Sudden death, of a Beauty. 

, Page 318—326. 


Theology. Ethics. Diet. Dress. Drinks and Diseases. Alcohol. Exer- 
cise. Famine. Priestley. Johnson. Josephus. Bishop Beveridge. 
Trances. Resuscitation. Heat and Cold. Page 327 — 368. 


Of the Senses, passions of the mind, memory, judgment, association. The 
Will. Mr. Alexander Alexander, and Point no Point. Page 369 — 382. 


Something of Politics. Vattel. Patrick Henry. John Randolph. Volcanic 
Waters. Thorlakson. Comets. Stimulus of Necessity. Uses of the 
Spleen. Page 383—410. 


Some further notice of the sleeping preacher. Different opinions of her 
sleeping and waking soul. Herod the Great. The Gymnosophists. Case 
of William Blatchford, Jr. Women bearing children at sixty years of age. 

Page 411—457. 


History and anecdotes of women. Of the best method of females managing 
property, and preserving their estates. Of piayer. Deceit. Singular 
case. Hortense on optics. Conclusion. Page 458—483. 


We would refer gentlemen of all professions — the presidents, professors, 
and members of the several colleges, ministers of all denominations, and 
people of every religious sect, to the following pages. And indeed all, who 
would enlarge the bounds of knowledge, respecting their own country, and its 
phenomena, and of Human Nature itself, and its system, are included in this 

Whether in the shape of praise or blame, extension, contraction, or alteration, 
every thing is desired which will tend to improve the subjects upon which the 
present writer has touched, and they are many. 

In most things our country is still an infant Hercules, which time, and taste, 
and talents, is fast ripening into manhood. 

Most of our chapters contain so much of variety, as cannot fail to interest 
the professional reader, the general reader, the matron, and the miss. 
But to his fair readers the writer would more particularly refer : — 

Ladies have minds of philosophic cast, 

Which thrill at rainbows, Rome and ruins vast ; 

Which comets scan, and northern lights survey, 

Nor fiery clouds, nor trembling earth dismay. 

Pleased with the western realms, once claimed by waves, 

With Alleghany's heights, Kentucky's caves, — 

With the Atlantic shores, and sounding seas, 

And mighty rushing winds, that bend the trees, — 

Missouri's grapes, the sweetest of all kinds, 

Dressed with th§-eand, pruned by the desert winds, — 

The lily of the lake, — the lily's queen, — 

The falling flood — Niagara, is seen. 

The water rainbow cloud, their eye delights, 

As the vast lakes pour o'er the mountain heights. 

Around the Isle, the hasty rapids move, 

Pushed on by Erie, and the lakes above ; 

The rolling, rushing, restless torrent pours, 

Between the King's and freedom's firmer shores ; 

And hastens on with deep and dashing flow, 

To find the broad, the grand, Ontario. 


Yet ere it ends and ocean-rest enjoys, 

It flows anew, and forms the Iroquois. 

River of thunder ! with thy thousand isles, 

Where cascades leap, and where the vortex boils ; 

Poets must soar sublime, thy scenes to sing, 

Yet still the Mississippi is thy king ; — 

Great rolling remnant of the ancient sea, 

The world affords no parallel to thee. 

Such scenes will elevate the soul sublime, 

And open vistas to remotest time ; 

Scenes that will transport female hearts on high, 

And brighten views that reach beyond the sky. 

Star of the States, display thy native land, 

Bid taste, imagination, truth, expand, 

And pay a tribute worth a lady's hand. 

'Twas Solomon, of cedar trees who spake, 

The lofty tree, more lofty could he make ; 

But lofty subjects were not his alone, 

The humble hyssop's heard of from his throne.* 

The female mind must high and broad expand, 

To rear a race to fit this lofty land ; 

Sons from their mothers, most their talents take, 

Mothers the first and last impressions make. 

He who would raise his country's glories high, 

Must on the fair with fervent faith rely. 

The Spartan matrons taught the world the truth, 

That martial spirits must be formed in youth ; 

Hence, when their sons marched for the tented field, 

" Bring back, or be brought back, upon your shield" — 

Was the farewell, the soul, nerve-steeling speech, 

Which last of all their ears was wont to reach. 

Our country owed to her our Washington ! — 

Who bore and bred and marshalled such a son. 

Statesmen and soldiers on the sex depend — 

Ah ! mother, sister, lover, female friend ! ! 

Whoever lays aside our volume without attentively perusing our tenth 
chapter, will deprive himself of much utility and entertainment. We make 
this remark from our knowledge that some who buy books do not read them, 
and designate that chapter, as containing much, as we think, that will interest 
the general reader, and lead him to look further into the present volume. 
Perhaps, however, there are others who may find other chapters more interest- 
ing to them. 

* " And he discoursed of trees, from the cedar of Lebanon, to the hyssop 
that grows out of the wall." 


The religious inquirer, who would renew and revive his ideas, and who 
would find new food for pious aspirations, who would be a partaker of purity 
in doctrine, and piety in dispensation, and who would behold temples glitter 
with glory, coronets and crowns studded with diamonds, and all sweetly 
reclining upon religion, are referred to extracts in this work, from those who 
had adorned the summit, the spire, the pinnacle of their profession. We 
would, in this connection, mention Bishop Beveridge ; and in our thirteenth 
chapter, what is said of the sleeping preacher, Miss Baker. 




No book was ever written by any one man exactly so as to 
please another, much more, all others. 

Dr. Goldsmith said, that the best way to please the whole 
world, was to try to please only one half of it. What is written 
in beauty, must be felt in a song. 

Those writers have done most good by their writings, who have 
combined the pleasurable with the profitable, — who have exhibited 
the honey and the rose, and who have left the sting and the thorn 
to exhibit themselves. 

But the empire of veracity never ought to be invaded ; when 
truth can be discovered, it must always be portrayed, and the 
extensive domain of deception, left to shift for itself. 

A spot which wouldvbe invisible upon the sail of a ship, would 
be apparent on a lady's frock. Every writer should dress himself 
in white satin, that if there be soils, he may discover them first 

The delusions of duplicity, should have no place, and if the 
fairy flights of fancy, must be ever introduced, they should be 
well digested. 

We have heard, from philosophers, of a certain kind of light- 
ning, which melted the sword, but singed not the scabbard. 


A discriminating sort of heavenly fire, which should teach us? 
to seize the strong point of every case, and to hold on to it with 
never ceasing effort and exertion, and never remit our embrace,, 
till death enfeebles our grasp. 

In the cases of the five ladies, who told colors by the touch, 
and some of whom appeared to have double minds, or souls, our 
testimony is of such a kind as to set incredulity at defiance.* 
We had not admitted them unless they had been based upon 
indubitable testimony. Nor not at all, except with a view of 
throwing around them a halo of such philosophical and physiolo- 
gical light, as our present knowledge, feeble as it is, affords. 

The same observations apply to the Salem witchcraft, to Indian 
sorcery, Egyptian magic, and the tricks of mountebanks and 

We have inquired with much care, into the geological part of 
our subject, as also into what is known of the phenomena of the 
heavens, and the antiquities of the earth. 

We were led more particularly to the latter subject, by seeing 
the publication of a most extraordinary opinion, that the mounds 
and fortifications of America were natural productions ! And 
this, not by any common writer, but by a professed geologist, and 
a professor also in one of our colleges. 

We never knew an opinion of greater absurdity ever promulga- 
ted, nor one at which We were more utterly astonished. We 
have in consequence, been at much pains to collect, and to con- 
centrate, such evidence upon the subject as we could obtain, both 
as relates to the western states and to Mexico. 

Every person of the least pretensions to knowledge, to geogra- 
phy, geology, travels, or history, ought to know something of 
these New- World-wonders, so as not to send abroad opinions 
disgraceful to the very name of an American. 

These structures of tfee ancient unrecorded ages of America, 
are no where in the known world to be matched, except in Egypt 

We have said something upon a variety of subjects, in a short 
space, and of course have not talked, when we had nothing to say. 

* In order to steer clear of the doctrine of Materialism, it is requisite to adopt 
the opinion of double souls, minds, or spirits. 


Those writers are fatiguing in the extreme who attempt to say 
every thing that can possibly be said upon a subject — who write 
as if they thought that their readers knew nothing, and that 
they themselves knew every thing. Our citizens are too well 
informed to need prolixity, or to be pleased with monotony of 
this kind. 

There is another class of writers, who will pretend that they 
have something to tell of the most paramount, magnificent, and 
vital importance, and begin with a long, every day, tedious detail 
about winds, weather, sunshine, clouds, time of day, or time of 
year, and what, and where their hero ate and drank ; things 
that have been told over and repeated more than five hundred 
thousand times. 

The world has too many things to be seen, and too many good 
writers in it to be read, and too many good speakers in it to be 
heard, to listen to repetitions and non-essentials. 

We have heard to our full satisfaction, that the sun rose in all 
its glory, or that it rose in silver and sat in gold — that the air was 
bland, balsamic and delicious, the morning beautiful, the sky 
serene, and the dew-drops diamonds — that there were singing 
choirs, flitting from tree to tree, and grove to grove, cooing doves, 
and nightingales mellifluous— that the earth had a green carpet 
•of grass, or a white coverlet of snow, or a painted cushion of 
violets — that there were little rills, singing and dancing over 
pebbles of crystal, or large rivers pouring thunder, qver the 
rocks — that there was a calm lake, whick painted the stars in its 
placid bosom, and laid down the blue spangled sky, as a carpet 
in its waters. All well enough to be sure, if told but once, and 
stale enough if eternally repeated. 

And then we have other condiment dishes, into which every 
one dips his spoon ; such as Alexander's weeping for another 
world to conquer ; of places dark tts Brebus, or frowning as a 
mountain thunder cloud ; of the soft tinge of tender melancholy ; 
of tears like stars, glittering in the eye ; of tears like rain, falling 
to the earth ; and of tears like rills^ furrowing the cheek. 

Of the sea, we hear of its colors of black, of blue, of green, of 
purple, and of white ; of its chafing with its sandy strand, or 
throwing its bellowing billows upon the wavy shore, or of its 


mounting up in mountain heights ; and of its lying untroubled in 
placid repose. 

So we have flowery fields, beaming beauties, lovely ladies, 
charming creatures, 

And waves that wind their watery way, 
And blustering blasts that blow, 
And locks that lovely, loosely lay, 
And well wrought words of woe, 

not for poetic purpose, nor for the necessity of the narrative, but 
for the display of the author's alertness at alliteration. 

How does it add to the interest of an incident, for the writer to 
tell that it was a dark cold night, with chill damp winds, which 
blew the rain against the windows, when he had to go only a few 
steps, in a lighted city 1 

Dean Swift said of the British ministers, that he used them 
like dogs, because he expected that they would use him so. 
This dogged kind of treatment seems to be adopted by many 
authors, and reciprocated by their readers. 

§ 2. With our respect for great men, we are often obliged to 
mingle our regret for their errors. This regret is, however, some- 
times misapplied. Lord Brougham has been censured for hold- 
ing the opinion, that belief is independent of the will. But in 
this respect, his lordship agrees with other great philosophers, 
and his censurers must prove him in an error, or prove themselves 
greater philosophers, and more correct judges than he is, in order 
for their opinions to have much weight. But they have done 

Some great men are only great on great occasions, but it is 
dangerous for a great man not to be great on small occasions ; 
for those who take hold of embroidery, do not expect to find it 
ever to end in a web ; and if ever a great ox dwindles down to a 
frog, all frogs will think themselves great oxen. 

A philosophy which hides its head in the clouds, is as useless 
as the ignorance which buries its face in a mole-hill ; and little 
better than either, are those writers who deal in skipping, short- 
winded, asthmatic, unpolished truisms, impossible to be -applied 
or remembered. 



There are others prone to dole out matters of small conse- 
quence, in a strutting style, to blow up great bubbles filled with 
air, which burst and leave nothing behind but a drop of impure 

There is another kind of style, which is smart and snappish, 
the writers of which, find out that the world and every thing in it 
has gone amiss from Adam, till it was so lucky at last, as to find 
them with pens in their hands. Such writers make every thing as 
iucid as a cake of ice, but at the same time as frigid, hard and 
repulsive. They cannot be brought within the pale of General 
Washington's remark, that " good humor makes one dish of 


Our free constitution permits Christians to do all the good they 
can, and infidels all the evil they can, provided neither commit a 
breach of the peace. It hence becomes all-important, that the 
young should be educated and moralized, and that no poison be 
cast into the springs from which they drink, and from which the 
mighty rivers of freedom are to Aoav. Still, with education we 
always connect reproof, admonition, and rigid rules of discipline. 
But we are convinced that these are often, very often, carried too 
far ; for the judgment can only gain a manly and adequate 
strength, by its being suffered to undergo much exercise of itself. 
It is from this very circumstance that the constellation of the 
northern bear is so often, in Congress, eclipsed by the stars of 
the south. 

Education, without good judgment, never made a Cicero. 
Great learning, and even great wisdom, may sometimes be found 
in an individual, with very little judgment. We suspect that even 
Cato was deficient in the latter, from his having been impeached 
by his countrymen, no less than fifty times, and the last time, at 
the age of eighty-six. 

Such men as Herod, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon, who 
acted upon the thunder and lightning principle, achieved every 
thing by fear and force, and cannot be subjected to the rules of 
other mortals. Cowper thought that there was somewhere in 
infinite space, a world that did not roll within the precincts of 
mercy. Those men appear to have belonged to that world. 


Some writers, and some preachers, have been thought very- 
great, because their readers and hearers could not understand 
them. Aristotle is supposed to have written with affected ob- 
scurity. Hence the world sought after him with respect and 
reverence, for an explanation ; every one thinking that he should 
himself become wise, if he could but comprehend Aristotle. But 
it is impossible to understand that which has no meaning. The 
air of mystery, with an occasional clear, terse, and pithy axiom, 
however, ever made him venerable. 

It is thought that if Homer could be so translated as to give the 
true and elegant simplicity of his meaning, that he would be as 
entertaining even to children, as is Robinson Crusoe, because he 
wrote according to the uncontaminated principles of nature. 
Homer was no metaphysical writer. These write, in order to 
reconcile contradictions, and as they cannot do this, they so in- 
volve their sentences as not to have their failures very apparent, 
as they have no meaning at all. 

We have some modern writers, with whom every thing is deli- 
cate and delightful, and if honey never cloyed, their style would 
never tire. But as Plutarch observes, that every kind of wicked- 
ness produces its own particular torment, so we may say, that 
every kind of sweet, brings with it its own satiety. Gold may, 
however, be often told over without soiling the fingers, and we 
can hardly conceive of the period when the style of Johnson, 
Addison, Mr. Jefferson, and Washington Irving, will not be held 
in esteem. 

- § 3. The Mahometans, call a tavern-haunter, a worshipper of 
fire — and to such, tike language of Sir William Jones, well ap- 
plies, viz. that he resembles a coal, which when hot burnetii the 
hand, and when cold blacketh it. 

§ 4. Every one who visits a library, may well be surprised, if 

he pleases to turn over many thick and ponderous volumes, which 
are written upon subjects unattainable, or which if attained, would 
not be applicable to any useful purpose. Yet a library, as Dr. 
Johnson observes, is a melancholy place, when the number of 
writers, with their bright anticipations of fame, and their subse- 
quent blasted prospects, is considered. For who ever wrote a 


book, which its author did not entertain a more exalted opinion 
of, than its readers and the public 1 

It is not always the most elegant writer that leaves the deepest 
impression on his reader. We sometimes find bad grammar, 
obsolete terms, and ancient authors, making deep, or pleasant, or 
striking indentations on the mind. Thus Chaucer says, 

For libertie is thing that women looke, 
And truly els the matter is acrooke.* 

The English language has varied so much in less than 700 
years, that to understand Robert Glocester, who wrote in the 
reign of Henry II., we require the glossary of a dead language. 

Wiclif, who translated the Bible, about 200 years later, is more 
intelligible, but still very obscure. He probably wrote in all the 
elegance of his day, as he was professor of Divinity at Oxford. 
His translation of a verse or two of the Bible, follows, being the 
most intelligible of any that we could select. 

" Men schulen louynge hemsillf coucitouse ; high o berynge, 
proude, blasfemeris ; not obedient to fadir and modir, unkynde 
cursid, withouten affeccioun." (2 Tim. iii. 2.) 

" And anon the damysel roos and walkide, and she was of 
twelve year, and thei weren abayschid with a great stoneying." 
(Mark v. 42.)t 

§ 5. To study human nature in all its phases, is a curious 
and not a useless study. There are some persons who are ex- 
tremely careful of their health, who are yet ever ready 'to risque 
their lives in duels, or any romantic or dangisrous enterprise. 

And there is another class, consisting oPthe lower order of 
people, who are recklessly careless of their health, and yet the 
most fearful of death of any mortals in the known world. 

Individuals of each class, will sometimes strike the beholder 
dumb, not with admiration, but with unaccountable surprise. 

There are some prosing, jury-confounding arguers, who travel 
all sorts of courses excepting straight ones, and who can throw a 

* Richardson's Dictionary, Art. Acrook. 
t Richardson's Dictionary, Art. Affectiok. 


shade of darkness upon all subjects, and never a ray of light upon 
a single one. 

Who ever saw, without a thrilling emotion of sympathy, a 
beautiful woman, suddenly thrown into deep, painful, and un- 
feigned distress ? Such an exhibition, beheld unmoved, would 
denote an inhabitant of that world which rolls without the pre- 
cincts of mercy. And yet you will find a jury-confounding-limb 
of the law, arrayed against her. But judges will see that justice 
is done, and let it be done, though the heavens be dissolved. It 
is a happy trait in human nature, that it leans towards the feeble 
and frail, and that conscience sustains the bearing. For Cicero 
said, that he did not consider that man the most virtuous who 
committed no faults, but him whose conscience accused him with 
the fewest. 

The judge on the bench, often suffers more from the load of 
responsibility upon his feelings, than the criminal at the bar, from 
the load of guilt upon his conscience. 

What a difference in the physiognomy of the judge and the 
soldier ! The face of the former, who is only about to send a 
convict to prison, is longer than that of the latter, who is about to 
be killed himself. 

Were we to see nobody but officers of the army and navy, we 
should at once conclude that this world was made up of roses and 
honey-suckles, and nightingales, and humming birds — of suns by 
day, and stars by night, and milk and honey every where — and 
that mountains of dead bodies, and seas of blood, and bleached 
bones, and clotted gore, had never any place in it. > 

The face of the dead who die suddenly, or by violence, is less 
changed than that of those who linger life away, by slow decline. 
It is those dead of consumption, who have lost all looks of life in 
some instances, not in all. But the careless head which was 
bound around with laurels, and the brave heart, which was 
ready to shed its blood for its country, bear the physiognomy of 
death, if the body falls, without a murmuring look, or frowning 

The pen of the poet, and the pencil of the painter, brothers in 
allegory, have done the most justice to the minds and bodies of 
the human race. They have exhibited pictures to the life, and to 


the death, and both are required for a full portrait of human 

Of all truths, theological truths are of the most consummate 
importance ; and the common sense, and the common people, 
who always finally decide right, of all nations, have, in this case, 
so decided. The reason is, that such truths have an intimate 
relation with both life and death — with here and hereafter — with 
time and eternity. 

§ 6. Biographers, who write of the living, dare not tell what 
they know, and those who write of the dead, find many para- 
mount facts unknown or forgotten, so that no man's life was ever 
fully written. What one man has been doing, during his whole 
life, it Avould take another man his whole life to find out and 
to tell. 

Dr. Johnson wrote the life of Milton, with much care and at- 
tention. Yet he was unapprized of one of the most extraordina- 
ry events of his, or of almost any other man's life. 

Milton, who had been Cromwell's Latin Secretary, was con- 
sidered as rebelling, in that and many other respects, against the 
legitimate monarch. Yet to the surprise of Dr. Johnson, he went 

The fact was, that when others were being arrested and tried 
for their treasonable practices, Milton pretended to be dead, and 
actually had a funeral procession in public. 

The facetious and merciful monarch, Charles II., did not dis- 
approve of his escaping death " by a seasonable show of dying," 
and still suffered him to enjoy his liberty and life.* 

It is not improbable, however, that Charles might have approved 
of some of Milton's religious writings, or have viewed them more 
favorably, than he did those in which he contended for the liber- 
ties of the people. For it is a fact, that those who have no reli- 
gion themselves, sometimes hold in the highest estimation those 
who have. Whilst those who have, and those who take the most 

* The reader can consult Cunningham's History of Great Britain, Vol. I., 
for more particulars of this affair. Milton's hiding place was Bartholomew 
Close, near Smithfield. . 


unbounded liberties, disapprove of any one else enjoying or taking 
any at all. 

One of Milton's political works, was, however, seized and or- 
dered to be burnt, by the common hangman. 

It would be perhaps, difficult to find two great writers more 
unlike, than were Milton and Addison. For whilst the latter was 
ridiculed, for his endless mention of the fair, sea;, in the Spectator, 
and was himself one of the most inoffensive men in the world, 
with respect to the government under which he lived. Milton, in 
the language of Dr. Johnson, thought man only created to rebel, 
and woman to obey. In fact, Milton's treatment of women, puts 
us in mind of what old Chaucer says, that " they weren wont 
lightly to slaken her hunger at euin with akehornes of okes." 

The writings of Milton and Addison are as different as were their 
notions concerning women. The former, we never read except 
as a duty, or a study ; we speak more particularly of his Paradise 
Lost, which is a work of fiction, founded on the Bible. Now, in 
every work of fiction, delight is constantly given to the fancy, by 
the plausible face of the narrative ; and by our being persuaded, 
'as we float along the placid stream, that we are on the real cur- 
rent of life, or that we shall find, at the end of our voyage, 
stranger things than real life ever made us familiar with. 

But a work of fiction, founded on the Bible, we know must be 
false, if it disagrees with its source. And when never so true, it 
cannot be truer than the Bible, and hence unnecessary. 

The writings of Addison are pure, elegant, lively, and never 
deviate from the purest morality. 

Time obliterates hypothesis, but confirms nature. There is 
nothing of nature in the personification of Sin and Death, by 
Milton, nor in his making Satan enter into a toad, and hiding in 
the reptile, his spear and shield. Besides, blank verse, in which 
he writes, is poetry only to the eye, and a kind of harsh prose to 
the ear. To the understanding, it is a block of stumbling, and 
a rock of offence. There is no exception, no not a single one, 
except one, and that is Shakspeare. 

Time, common opinion, and popularity, have confirmed this 
decision — as they have Addison's Spectator, in public favor, al- 


though it so often mentions the fair sex, as to have drawn upon 
it the ridicule of Swift. 

Still, we think that the different numbers of the Spectator have 
pretty well exhausted the subject, and that the frequent articles in 
our present periodicals, headed woman, are legitimate subjects of 
ridicule. Not because they may not be well written, but because 
the subject is thread bare. 

§ 7. The conclusion of one of Lord Byron's letters to Dr. 
Drury, will find a response by many, as a truth spoken in jest. 
It is as follows : — " Remember me to yourself, when drunk : I 
am not worth a sober thought." Yet Byron's poetry had more 
of mind, more of exquisite and elevated description, more of 
imagination,, and poetic imagery, and tenderness of feeling, than 
that of any one of his giant contemporaries, Sir Walter Scott not 

And it is still doubtful whether he ever intended to throw the 
gauntlet at Christians and Christianity, considering his extreme 
sensibility ; for he confessed, in the plenitude of his fame, that 
" the depreciation of the lowest of mankind was more painful to 
him, than the applause of the highest was pleasing." 

His strength was Herculean ; but its government, use, and 
application, were like Napoleon's, not always directed to the right 

The arguments of the one, and the arms of the other, were 
like bomb-shells, which they were determined should burst their 
glare of light on the world, let the destruction which they scatter- 
ed round, be what it might. 

It could not be said, of Byron and Buonaparte, what the latter 
said of Voltaire, that " he was considered the great man of the 
age, because all around him were pigmies." Their era abounded 
with diamond geniuses, male and female, of the very first water. 
Among the latter, Miss Hannah Moore, Madame De Stael, and 
Miss Edgeworth, were such a trio as this world never upheld, at 
the same time, since it had historians to write its history. The 
appearance on the globe, of such a feminine genius as either of 
them, once in a thousand years, would ever have been considered 
as sufficient to mark the era. 


We suspect that if Napoleon had competitors of antiquity, 
that could compare with him in arms, that when as a soldier, a 
politician, and especially as a shrewd and wise remarker upon 
general subjects, he is considered, that the world, in any one man, 
never produced his equal, in times ancient or modern, distant or 
near at home. 

The beacon set up by Madame De Stael, warning us to beware 
of such persons as have once proved themselves capable of com- 
mitting bad actions, experience daily proves to us all, the vast 
utility of. 

A fourth female of fine endowments, we must not omit to men- 
tion, in the person of the empress Josephine. Her words were 
like apples of gold in pictures of silver, for they were fitly spoken. 
She ranked the qualities of submission, obedience, and compli- 
ance, in her sex, as upon a level with political address in men. 

A proof of her fine qualities, was, her obtaining such a man as 
Buonaparte for a husband. And it is remarkable that his star 
did not wane till he left this excellent woman for the daughter of 
Austria, Maria Louisa. And to this latter alliance he imputed his 
ruin. He remarked of Josephine, that it was foretold of her in 
her infancy, that she would wear a crown. That a mind tnat had 
such a load of living things upon it, as Napoleon's, should find 
time to read, and taste to admire, the Iliad, is a mark of its vast 

Of this work of Homer, he remarked, that it was like the books 
of Moses, the token and pledge of the age in which it was produ- 
ced. He observed of Homer also, that in that epic poem, he had 
proved himself a poet, an orator, a historian, a legislator, geogra- 
pher, and theologist. And he adds, that he might be called the 
encyclopedist of the period in which he flourished. 

He observed, that one thing particularly struck him ; which 
was, the combination of the rudeness of manners, with refinement 
of ideas. Heroes were described as killing animals for their 
food, cooking their meat with their own hands, and yet delivering 
speeches distinguished for regular eloquence, and denoting a 
high degree of civilization. 

He remarks of his own policy, that it was led on by the spirit 
of the age, and the circumstances of the moment. 


He denied that the face was an index of the mind. He thought 
that popular opinion always decided right, however obscure the 
subject, complicated the business, or profound the mystery.* 

He said that he did not ascend the throne by pushing another 
from it — that he found the crown fallen, that he snatched it up, 
and that the nation placed it on his head. 

He said that he. could appear before the tribunal of God 
and await his judgment without fear. This will doubtless be 
considered by some, rather as a proof of the Emperor's courage, 
than as a mark of his piety. 

As a reasoner, Buonaparte was erect in his positions, precise, 
and not extravagant in his facts, and never blundering, but gene- 
rally very correct in his conclusions. Observation and history had 
taught him, that those who had achieved great changes in the 
world, had not succeeded by gaining over the chiefs, but by ex- 
citing the common people. He carried the key which unlocked 
the hearts of the multitude, and this accounts for his unbounded 
popularity, as well as for the ardor, energy, and alacrity of his 

But then his hundred victories could only have been obtained 
by a very superior degree of skill in the art of war, an intuitive 
promptness of discovering facts, and all their bearings and rela- 
tions, and a quickness in executing his plans, which even exceed- 
ed that of Julius Csesar. 

He appears to have been a believer in God, and his providence, 
as he observed, that to Him alone it must belong to pronounce 
upon what is no longer witjiin the reach of the judgment of men. 
The remark in relation to Talleyrand, that he was a man who 
could fit himself for any station on the eve of his appointment to 
it, was, perhaps, equally applicable to himself.t 

Buonaparte's adage was, that it was not for a circumstance to 
regulate policy, but rather fipr policy to govern circumstances. 

He refused to receive the communion, because he did not think 
he had sufficient faith in it for it to be beneficial to him, but too 
much to allow him to be guilty of sacrilege. 

* Las Casas' Napoleon. 

t We believe that this remark was first made by Talleyrand, in relation to a 
certain minister of Buonaparte's. 



His views of mankind appear to have been rather favorable. 
He did not think men were so ungrateful as was generally sup- 
posed. Of women he said, that a handsome woman pleased the 
eye, but a good woman pleased the heart. 

§ 8. Of national characters, not protestant, we admire that of 
the Chinese the most, and that of Spain the least. 

We have an extract from a placard, posted up on the walls of 
Canton, during a great drought in China, which has reminded us 
more of Bishop Butler's opinion, that Christianity is the universal 
religion, than any thing which we have ever seen, coming from 
a pagan country. The extracts are as follows : 

" There is now a great drought, calamities and misfortunes are 
heaped up, and it is a time of sorrow and grief. Prayers are of 
no avail — afl these misfortunes proceed from ourselves. Our 
hearts have long been hardened, and we have been discontented 
with our lots ; the uneradicated roots of error are many. Evil 
dispositions burst out like torrents, overthrowing mountains ; 
therefore heaven is annoyed with our repeated supplications. I 
offer advice to the men of age. It is necessary they should 
examine themselves — and let no one think himself guiltless, and 
accuse others. Let all at once excite their hearts, and from their 
own feelings, conjecture those of others ; constantly be contented 
in your stations. 

Cherish with the greatest care filial duty and brotherly love ; 
then, "the harmony of relations, friends, youth and manhood. 

In affairs do not indulge your own temper and wishes ; depend 
not on talent and ability ; presume not on riches, and treat peo- 
ple contemptuously, and on high station to insult them. Be not 
covetous of ill-gotten wealth. Think not on unlawful pleasures. 
Presume not on strength and power. Cherish not revengeful 
feelings. In all affairs consult your heart and hold fast by reason. 
Constantly correct yourselves, and be indulgent to the thoughts 
of others. Certainly then you will be able to repent and renovate 
yourselves, and draw back the favorable will of heaven. 

Seek and do this, all this, with real sincerity, and it cannot be 
but the calamities will be changed into blessings." 

Whoever reads the foregoing and does not find many senti- 


ments in agreement with those of the Gospel, will be suspected of 
not having paid a proper attention to the study of his Bible. 

§ 9. The Spaniards were the first to make slaves of the Afri- 
cans, They are a nation who wear daggers, and assassination is 
a revolting feature in their national character. Besides, they are 
cruel, vindictive, and malevolent. If they have religion, it is 
without morality. 

The barbarous treatment of Cortez, to the poor Indians of 
Mexico, was of the most horrid and accursed kind. If private 
enormities are visited on the nation to which the individual be- 
longs, his barbarities were sufficient to blast the prosperity of the 
Spaniards for a thousand years to come. 

The national character of the English, is of two kinds — the 
legitimate, or royal, and the puritanical. These divisions are 
very distinct, and retain their features among those, and the de- 
scendants of those, who emigrated long since from the Mother 
Isle. Those states in America, which were settled upon puritani- 
cal principles, are still different in their manners, customs, habits 
and notions, from other states. 

The soldiers and officers of Cromwell's army, when they halt- 
ed, after their marches, were wont to enter the pulpits of the 
churches, and to hold forth in discourses and sermons., to the 
people, in the place of clergymen. 

This teasing inclination to preach, is evidenced to this day in 
the laymen of the puritanical states. Nothing suits them fetter, 
than to get into a meeting house, and to deliver temperance, 
abolition, and education addresses — in which, all that they know 
about religion, is brought in also. Centennial, independence, 
and funeral orations, are all occasionally made to bear the style, 
and to introduce the subjects, of sermons. 

We knew one of these pseudo-orators, after he had ended, 
thanked by the minister in whose pulpit he had been standing, 
for his sermon, to his no little chagrin, or at any rate, surprise. 
His oration was upon the landing of the pilgrim fathers at 
Plymouth, in New England. 

It is supposed that all the seeds of no one class of plants that 
ever flourished on the surface of the globe, is ever entirely lost. 


They may be covered in the sands of -the ocean, or buried by 
earthquakes, in the heart of the earth, to be washed on shore, or 
thrown out centuries of ages hence, or be found about the dust 
of those who died three thousand years ago. From the lead 
mines of Missouri, seeds, from which shrubs have sprung, have 
been disinhumed, in the mining operations,* a great many feet 
from below the surface. This retentive and renovating quality, 
of the vegetable world, is found to exist in the animal and moral, 

Ancestral customs, spring up in posterity, when congenial cir- 
cumstances present, and this at great distances of time, after 
their supposed total loss. 

It is true the outer, may sometimes supersede the inner man, 
in producing impressions. 

Cromwell, who was the very greatest hypocrite that the whole 
creation ever bore, with a heart black and corrupt as can be 
found in the deepest hell, had religion and morality, and mildness 
on his tongue, and placability in his demeanor. 
—The character of" Richard Cromwell, his son, was formed from 
the surface sweets of his father, and did not partake of his heart 
malignity at all. He was of course too good a man to occupy 
the Protector's place. He could not, like him, live upon poisons, 
and yet not swell, nor turn livid, nor look pale. Too good to be 
a hypocrite himself,* he was too good also to suspect his father of 
hypocrisy, and had no conception that he was unlike him in 
heart, when he had his exterior. 

It is supposed, however, that Cromwell did something by his 
rebellion in favor of English Liberty. This may be true. But 
a remark contained in a letter to a mercantile house in London, 
from Gen. Washington, although applied by him to another sub- 
ject, may, we think, be with propriety applied to the present, so 
far as relates to Cromwell. That it was " Mean in quality, but 


A feminine holder forth in the pulpit, has been compared to two 
females boxing in the street, as to the effect that each phenome- 
non has upon the spectator — he being equally displeased if a gen-» 

* Mr. Schoolcraft. 


tleman, and equally gratified if a ruffian. Dr. Johnson compared 
these female preachers to a dog standing up on his hind legs. 

We look upon one of these Cromivcll-prcachcrs as equally 
disgusting. They have never too much religion for themselves, 
and never any to dispense to the public, if they knew themselves. 

But O' Council has promulgated lately the clue by which we 
are to be guided into the political labyrinth of such patriots as 
was Cromwell, and as is himself — by saying, that ' consistency'' is 
a rascally doctrine.* 

It is doubtful whether the prince of the infernal regions, has 
held communion with a viler politician since the days of Crom- 
well, than this O'Connell. A wretch, who would have the slaves 
liberated, to murder women and children. 

"And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Sa- 
tan." Satan is said to have three forms of temptation. The 
roaring lion, the subtile serpent, and the angel of light. We 
should place Cromwell and O'Connell in the serpent class. 

§ 10. We are taught that among all nations, savage and 
civilized, Christian and pagan, Jews or Gentiles, that there were 
certain occurrences which were mysterious, and which puzzled 
the best minds, and the best men, even such as Newton and 
Locke. That' as one deception decayed, and one imposture van- 
ished, by time or by detection, that another and another arose. 
And that there always has been in the world, from the witch of 
Endor and the Salem witchcraft, to Swedenborg and the Animal 
Magnetists, persons who were susceptible of splendid, but impo- 
sing conceptions, and misconceptions. Persons who could first 
delude themselves, and then a feAV others, and at last the world. 

But look at the effects. Keep the results, the end in view. 
Mark the consequences, and the failure of all beneficial conse- 
quences. Note the permanency or the transitoriness of the 
issue. The permanency as to j^lace and people, or the emigrant 
and migratory habits of the actors, and their evanescent conse- 

No one would now believe, with Cotton Mather, in the reality 
of melted brimstone being poured down a young woman's throat 

* In his answer to Dr. Doyle. 



in the same room wherein he himself was at the same time, and 
of which he could discern nothing at all. The reply is, no ; and 
that no person in our days would for a moment credit such 
monstrous absurdity. But the continuation of the reply is, that 
the world is changed, and that neither the actors nor the actions 
are alike ; and that the animal magnetists, and the Swedenbor- 
gians, and the phrenologists are men of science. So we reply, 
were Mr. Locke and Sir Isaac Newton. And as to the acts and 
doings of the parties, if we are to believe the spectators, they are 
equally unaccountable, in some instances, upon any known natu- 
ral or scientific principles, as were the pranks of the Salem 

We therefore must, as friends to the world, and to the good of 
society, and to the best interests of the community, disapprove 
of secret societies, and strange practices, and hidden mysteries. 
We spurn occult sciences, and protest against guides who are 
blind themselves, or who would make us blind, in order to lead us 
astray. The world has now stood long enough to have its eyes 
wide open. 

The progress of true knowledge, and genuine wisdom, cannot 
be aided by imposition or imposture. But that the general good 
may be injured by attempts to pry into futurity, and by gipsies, 
and supposed witches, and fortune telling, seems to be admitted, 
by nations, ancient and modern, enacting laws against them. 

We have no more faith in the modern editions of these works, 
than in their first impressions. 

Wave after wave, and cataract after cataract of absurdities 
have passed away, and yet a mountain of them remain to be re- 

§11. Our view of the world is, that its continents and islands 
all once joined, and formed only one division of land, without 
any intervening seas. Can we be allowed to infer, that this state 
of things will again occur 1 And may these words, which we 
find in the Bible, be supposed to allude to the subject, and to be 
a confirmation of this theory \ The words to which we have 
reference are these: "And there shall be no more sea."* No 

* In the tirue of the flood, as Josephus observes, the dry land was turned 
into sea. 



more sea to divide the dry land into islands and continents. If 
they have reference to the things of earth, they are to be taken 

§ 12. Mahometanism has long been supposed to have bor- 
rowed something from Judaism, and something from Christianity. 
A prize question was made at Berlin upon the subject. 

The prize was awarded to the Rabbi Geiger, who, as it related 
to Judaism, proved to the satisfaction of the judges, that all those 
parts of the Old Testament found in the Koran, were derived 
from those sources from whence the Jews formed their MisJina 
and Talmud. 

The Gospel and the Koran agree in their injunctions with 
respect to giving alms to the poor, but make no special provision 
for the payment of Priests. And in this latter respect, both dis- 
agree with the Books of Moses, or Pentateuch, which established 
tithes for that special purpose. 

In this respect, we see the ameliorating effects of toleration, 
for the modern clergy are more in number, and are probably 
better paid, than were the ancient Priests. 

It has been a query in my own mind, from whence Mahomet 
obtained any knowledge of the Bible; for the Arabians were 
pagan idolaters at the time he promulgated his new religion. He 
however destroyed their idols, and enjoined the worship of one, 
and only one, true God. 

It is an erroneous supposition, that the Mahometans actually 
worship their Prophet. This they are prohibited to do, although 
they make pilgrimages to Mecca, and hold the birth place of their 
lawgiver, as did the Jews Jerusalem, in very great veneration. 
It has been said, but we have not been able to trace to any com- 
petent authority the fact, that Mahomet forbade wine to his fol- 
lowers, because it was enjoined by Christianity, and used by 
Christians in his day to excess. But there is still a doubt upon 
the subject ; for it does not appear, that there were any Christians 
in that part, if in any part of Arabia, in the times in which he 
lived, except renegades. 

There is one passage in the Koran that is not a little curious, 
as in its objects of benevolence, it agrees with the Gospels, and 


in the amount to be given, it exactly agrees with the Pentateuch. 
It is as follows: "Let us not defrau'€ the poor of a tenth of our 
goods." Tithes, or tenths, being the proportion allotted to the 
Jewish priests, and giving to the poor enjoined by the Christian 

There certainly is something in Mahometanism superior to pa- 
ganism, as it enjoins frequent prayer, and fasting, and almsgiving. 
And indeed in many respects its rules so much resemble those 
given in the New Testament, as to lidre led to the supposition, 
that they must have been derived from it. But the answer to the 
Berlin prize question, nor the Life of Mahomet, by the Rev. Mr. 
Bush of New York, throws no light upon this matter. The latter, 
indeed, speaks directly of the Koran's " plagiarisms from our 
Scriptures," but if we recollect aright, he offers no opinion as to 
the source from whence they were obtained, or even asserts that 
Mahomet ever saw a Bible in his life. We were not a little sur- 
prised, however, that Mr. Bush should decide that the Koran was 
a worthless, dishonest book, although founded, as he thinks, on 
the Bible ! ! 

But it is clear that Mahomet, from some source or other, had 
some knowledge of the Scriptures, as he acknowledges that both 
Moses and Jesus were true prophets, and that they gave correct 
doctrines originally, but that their original revelations are lost, 
and that our present Bible does not contain them. But we must 
leave these subject to those who make divinity their profession, to 
which class we have not the honor to belong — although we may 
again refer to them. 

§ 13. China, and Ilindostan, are highly civilized countries, 
but neither Jewish, Christian, nor Mahometan. We must rank 
Mr. Graham with the Hindoos, as he and his followers would 
dispense with all animal food, and have nothing eaten but 
vegetables. If they claim affinity with any class at home, they 
must take their stand among the skeleton makers. 

The Chinese eat animal food when they can get it, but it sel- 
dom falls to the lot of the common people. That people, have 
been supposed by Europeans to be boastful of their numbers, their 
country, and institutions. By a late census, the inhabitants of 


the Celestial Empire amounted to tljree hundred and sixty-nine 
millions. And Mr. Gutzlaff^, the Prussian missionary to China, 
who had a better opportunity of judging than perhaps any other 
European ever had, thinks the amount not over rated. And yet, 
as to longevity, they make four persons only of this immense 
number to be one hundred years old ! Whilst by our last census, 
(that of 1830,) out of a population of less than thirteen millions, 
there were in the United States, two thousand five hundred and 
fifty-six persons of one hundred years old, or upwards ! This is 
pretty sufficient proof that animal food is favorable to longevity, 
for there are no people in the known world who eat so much 
animal food as the Americans. Many of these centenarians 
were colored people, which shews that they are well treated in 
this country. 

§ 14. The animal magnetists, the phrenologists, the Sweden- 
borgians, and the vegetable eaters, all agree in making strong 
cases out of scanty materials. Their minds appear to have been 
chaotic, but hissing, by which they raised a steam, which first 
blinded themselves, and then others. 

•> They could pull down a cathedral, but could not erect a wig- 
wam. It is they who make us think of what Cecil says of the 
Jacobins in England — that they have poisoned Watts' Hymns for 
children. One says, that he who thinks that all mankind are 
wrong, and always have been from Adam, must keep his thoughts 
to himself, or be prepared to die a martyr. Animal food is coe- 
val with man ; and it would be equally reasonable and consistent 
to forbid water, as to forbid meat. 

It is a maxim with the Jewish Rabbins, that the love that is not 
accompanied with reproof is not genuine. But this must have 
its limits, and not be extended to those in whom there is nothing 
to reprove. 

§ 15. Some one observes, that great writers are rare, and the 
necessity for them very rare. There have been very few who 
were able to present excellent sentiments, adorned with all the 
sweets and perfumes of pure, smooth, chaste, and elevated 


Some things are rejected from prejudice, and others for the 
reason that they are used by those who are disliked. The Papist 
has the books of the Apocrypha in his canon, whilst the Protes- 
tant pays less respect to them than to works known to be the 
works of profane authors. 

Do good to your friend, that he may be more wholly yours — to 
your enemy, that he may become your friend, is one of the finest 
sentiments of antiquity.* 

Every man is proud, but few are, as should be the chairmen 
or speakers of Congress and of Parliament, prompt, patient, and 

It is baric and steel for the mind, to take some one of the great 
luminaries of antiquity, and to write upon an}? subject, our con- 
jectures of what he would say upon it. 

Cicero composed themes upon imaginary topics, which he 
rehearsed every day. Such eloquence as was that of Demosthe- 
nes and Cicero, was learned in no school. Men of their stamp, 
are always self-educated ; and never, like sciolists, say that they 
have finished their studies, for they remain students during life. 
Instead of relying on the brightest torches which the world ever 
displayed, they lighted one of their own, of superior lustre, upon 
which the eyes of the world have been fixed ever since. 

Let the aspirant for excellence at the forum, the bar, or the 
senate, figure to himself a model of Ciceronean excellence — which 
never shall give an opponent the advantage in an argument, nor 
ever fail of taking it when given — which shall select the strong 
point of every case, and seize every object by the right handle, 
and so present the prominent features of every subject, as to en- 
force admiration, and to compel conviction, that every thing to 
the purpose, has been said that could be said. 

Let Cicero's manly piety, poetic fancy, philosophic profundity, 
scholastic acuteness, his selections in youth, of what was 
most proper to practice in mature age, his speaking well, and 
acting better, be models embalmed in the heart of every young 
American. It is a pure heart that makes the tongue im- 

* A sentiment derived from Cleobulus. 


Such men as Demosthenes and Cicero, although buried, are not 
dead, for they live in fame forever. 

Edmund Burke, and Patrick Henry, perhaps came the nearest 
of any of the moderns, in concentrating their excellencies. 

With all these bright luminaries before them, we may expect to 
see our youthful aspirants, in the language of Milton, springing 
upward like a pyramid of fire. Still, those who fly too high, too 
far, or too fast, may find their pinions fail. 

The motto on Goethe's ring — ohne haste, ohne rast, haste not, 
rest not — is the proper one for every scholar, and every aspirant 
to adopt. Of all the German writers, no one is to be more ad- 
mired than Goethe. One of his views has particularly struck 
us, as evincing his candor, and self-knowledge. He thought he 
could promise to be upright, but not impartial. Impartiality, in 
his opinion, being more than could always be possible. His 
character is, as every ones should be, not only pure, but bright. 
Time only respects what it has finished. The wood of the tall 
tree, whose growth is rapid, rapidly decays. 

Every one owes obedience to the laws, but a still higher obliga- 
tion is due to morality ; and when it so happens that both cannot 
be complied with, it is better to do an illegal act, than an immoral 

In China, in one respect, morality and legality, are made to 
converge to a point. There, a man is directed, at a fixed period 
by law, to take a wife, and he obeys. Eveiy thing there is a 
matter of legislation, and marriage is not excepted. 

Milton was of opinion, that those who made men abhor mar- 
riage, committed a diabolical sin. 

Fortune usually knocks at the door of every man once during 
his life, but if she does not find him at home, she does not call 
again. But when a man marries, he secures her an abode in his 
own house. 

Many females have rejected the first matrimonial knock at the 
door, to their lasting regret in after times.* 

* It is said of a certain lady whose husband is, or has been in the alms house, 
that she refused an offer of marriage from a gentleman who afterwards was 
chosen President of the United StateB. 


Let novel and romance writers say what they will, the greatest 
number of happy marriages have ensued from interest, expedien- 
cy, necessity, and the choice of friends. 

In all these cases, the creation, ripening, increase, and security 
of affection, are more sedulously sought, than in love matches. 

Marriage and money are in some respects alike. Those who 
do not look well to small incidents, will not be happy, and those 
who do not look to small sums, will not |>e wealthy. 

Nothing is so dangerous as for the parties to think that they 
love so much, that they never can hate, as is the case in love 
matches. And nothing is so sure a road to poverty, as for any 
one to think that he is so rich that he never can become poor. 
Love, like money again, is easier gotten than kept. 

The best garden in the world must have care and cultivation, 
or fine fruits and flowers will not be produced, and the most ex- 
cellent dispositions and sweetest tempers, must be cherished, and 
will certainly change for the worse, by improper management. 
There is no danger in our happy land, of persons entering into 
the married state if they are not rich, provided they have industry, 
good morals and economy. 

Let there be no amalgamation— no mixture of races — no 
Ethiopian changing his skin. Let fhis, all this, be avoided for 
the sake of heaven, pity, and decency, but let other matrimonial 
barriers be few, if not entirely broken down. It was antichrist 
who forbade to marry. 

§ 16. There was magnanimity in the reply of lord Nelson, 
when requested to prosecute one for ill behavior. His blunt an- 
swer being, that there was no need of ruining a poor devil, who 
was sufficiently his own enemy to ruin himself. Those who de- 
spise marriage, are of this description. 

There are few who of choice break into that domicil whose 
pillars are bone, whose covering is flesh, and whose garniture is 
blood, let their belligerent bump be never so fully developed. 

We often meet with those who have acquired renown for having 
seen the world, and every thing in it, in their travels ; and who 
yet can scarce enlighten us on any thing we wish to know, or tell 
us what we cannot see ourselves, that their mouths have been 



open, and their eyes shut, when absent, just as we find them at 
present. They pass the world without experience, just as some 
judges on judicial benches, decide cases by precedent, whether it 
does justice or injustice, in the case on trial. 

Mr. Burke said that kings were fond of low company. But 
this is just what most men would be if they dared to show their 
true inclinations. 

Garrick stole away from high company, into a wood-yard, 
where he was found, aping and mocking a cock turkey, to amuse 
a young negro, who was laughing most boisterously. 

But how did Mr. Burke know that kings were fond of low 
company? Had he ever seen them in it- — had he ever known 
them manifest a predilection of the kind? Probably not. We 
presume that it was only an inference drawn from a general view 
of mankind, .from which he did not except kings. 

The disposition of men and women to be amused, is with few 
exceptions, universal. The natural bent of every child is to play 
rather than study. And the reason that travellers bring home so 
few things from abroad, of intrinsic value, is, that they are satia- 
ted with amusing stories and unimportant trifles. 

We seldom see a person too much engaged to stoop and pick 
up a pin. And a strange trifle will stop any. gentleman's coach 
on the road, and stay the proceedings of Congress and Parlia- 


ment. Most men manifest a pleasure at hearing high words, 
however low the contending parties. In the interval of courts of 
justice, we do not hear the judges and counsellors talking of the 
great and intricate points of law. The blunders or eccentricities 
of a witness, is ten to one more apt to engross their hours of 

The bent brow, and the studious look of the divine and physi- 
cian, are not carried out of the pulpit and sick room. 

Babes mourn when they see other persons weep, not knowing 
what the cause of grief may be ; and men laugh when < others 
laugh, though bearing loads of misery. 

It is an unpleasant task to talk of grief. Human pride induces 
every one to wish that he may be thought fortunate and lucky, 
and that if he has had a mountain in his way, that lie has remo- 
ved it himself. This is one universal principle. It is a hard task 
to keep another life in constant view. 1 It makes the heart beat 
hard, and shortens the sweets of this. Light hearts alone beat 
long. Those monks who have dug their own graves, by throw- 
ing a shovel full of earth from them every day, have soon suppli- 
ed the narrow house with a tenant. 

Respect your end, by making this life useful to yourself and 
others, and agreeable to all. That kind of pride is most nauseous 
which disdains to give pleasure to others, and that moroseness 
most unenviable which is never pleased itself. 

There is a common saying in one of the States of the Union, 
that it takes all kinds of people to make a world. 

The literary, refer to Shakspeare to prove temporal things, 
just as divines to the Bible, to prove spiritual. The vast and un- 
limited survey, which that philosophic poet took of all sorts of 
people, and the critical acumen which he manifested in pointing 
to the inmost recesses of their hearts, has not less astonished than 
entertained the world. 

The king is made to say of Armado, the fantastical Spaniard, 
that he loved to hear him lie. Whether Mr. Burke had this, or 
any other of Shakspeare's writings in view, when he said that 
kings loved low company, is not apparent. 

Minds that feast the world at the expense of the emaciation 
of their own bodies, discover many things which panw>V^J 



bodies do not discover, nor highly relish when discovered by 

Such minds had Shakspeare and Edmund Burke. Without 
labored volumes, we find historic scraps from such writers, which 
throw more light upon the world than tomes of extracts and com- 

§ 17. Sir Walter Raleigh, in his History of the World, Dr. 
Grey, Decker, and Ben Johnson, must all be referred to, to com- 
plete the history of one man and his horse ! It is an extraordi- 
nary case, however, and is worth notice of itself, and as a charac- 
teristic of the times of 1609. Banks, an Englishman, had a 
horse, which he had trained to follow him wheresoever he went, 
even over fences, and to the roofs of buildings. At home, Banks 
and his horse went to the top of that immensely high building, 
St. Paul's church.. The horse and his master then went to Rome, 
where they performed feats equally astonishing. But the result 
was, that both master and horse were burnt, by order of the Pope, 
for enchanters. Sir Walter Raleigh observes, that had Banks 
lived in olden times, he would have shamed all the enchanters of 
the world, for no beast ever performed such wonders as his. The 
burning of this poor man and his extraordinary horse, was dis- 
graceful to the age ; but acts, equally disgraceful, have been per- 
petrated long since. 

§ 18. There are things which may be talked of, which can 
not be thought of. We may talk of a globe, or a flower, or a 
circle without any kind of color whatever, but we cannot possibly 
think of them. We may, however, both talk and think of a 
mighty wind, which is without shape or color, except in fancy. 

What odd fantastic things we women do, was said or fancied 
of women, by a woman. But the most fantastic being of which 
we ever heard, was a Spaniard, of the other sex, who apologi- 
zed to the sky, which he termed sweet welkin, for breathing in its 

The false dignity of the Spaniards, is as notorious as their cru- 
elty. Their national character is Arabian. They derived it from 
the Moors, who were in fact Arabs, and once, and long, had pos- 
session of Spain. The Spaniards expelled them at last, but re- 


tained their manners. Or at least they expelled those whom 
the Inquisition could not convert, or did not burn, or reduce to 
poverty and rain. The amount of those expelled was six 
hundred thousand, the remnant of a race, once numerous and 

The Jews, who at one time formed a large proportion of the 
population of Spain, were almost totally extirpated by the In- 
quisition. After this court of blood and murder, had gotten rid 
of the Moors and Jews, their vengeful eyes were turned upon the 
Christians themselves. 

What scenes of horror, barbarity and death, have the three na- 
tions of Moors, Jews, and Indians, suffered from this incarnate 
race of devils, the Spaniards. The blood chills, humanity shud- 
ders, and mercy faints, at the recital". If the spirits of persons 
unjustly and cruelly destroyed, are permitted to retaliate their in- 
juries upon the Spanish nation, its prosperity must be blasted for 
centuries to come. And it is now suffering one of the greatest of 
earthly calamities, that of civil war. 

It is agreeable to turn away from the black acts and the dia- 
bolical actors, to a few redeeming qualities, in the writers and 
poets of that nation. Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, is 
one of the principal of these. He, as a writer, produced as much 
laughter in the world as any author who ever wrote. Shakspeare 
can hardly be excepted. Yet it is unpleasant to think how 
strongly the misfortunes of his life, contrasted with the merri- 
ment of his celebrated work. The first part of it was written by 
him at the age of 56, whilst confined in prison for debt. He lost 
his left hand, when young, and a common soldier, at the battle 
of Lepanto. He was captured on his return homeward, from 
thence by water, by the Algerines, and for five years kept a pris- 
oner, or more properly speaking, a slave, by them. He died 
April, 1616, aged 67 years. 

The romances and plays of the Spaniards, exceed those of all 
other nations, in giving wit and success to rogues and robbers. 

A striking feature of their plays is still more indicative of the 
national character. It is the frequency of murder, and the infre- 
quency of its punishment. In one of their plays, however, the 

*M Sismondi. 


devil, who is one of the dramatic persons, is punished pretty 
well, by being compelled to become a preacher, in the city of 
Lucca, in order to make some atonement for the evil he had 
done to the Capuchins, in that place. But there is still one ob- 
jectionable feature in this play, for the manner in which this is 
brought about ; it being by the descent of the infant Jesus to the 
earth, with Si. Michael, who compel the devil to clothe himself 
in the habit of St. Francis, and to become a preacher of right- 

It is said of one of their dramatic writers, that he wrote no less 
than 2200 theatrical pieces. This was Lope dc Vega, who must, 
as it is calculated, have given the world a new play, once in eight 
days from the beginning of his life to the end of it. Besides 
which, Ave are told that he wrote twenty-two volumes quarto, of 

There are some sentiments of extreme delicacy occasionally 
found in both the poetry and prose of the Spanish writers. The 
representation of the ermine, by Calderon, suffering itself to be 
caught by its pursuers, rather than to be wounded, for fear its 
beautiful fur should be soiled, is of this kind. Every one will 
consider the account fabulous, but it shows a delicacy of inven- 

Whoever does not feel a tearful emotion, or a throb of sensi- 
bility, at reading the following pathetic lines, let him read them 
over again. They are from a Spanish poet, named Garcilaso. 

Poor lost Eliza! of thy locks of gold, 
One treasured ringlet in white silk I keep 
Forever at my heart, which when unroll'd, 
Fresh grief and pity o'er my spirit creep, 
And my insatiate eyes, for hours untold 
O'er the dear pledge will like an infant weep : 
With sighs more warm than fire anon I dry 
The tears from off it, number one by one, 
The radiant hairs, and with a love-knot tie ; 
Mine eyes ; this duty done, 
Give over weeping, and with slight relief, 
I taste a short forgetfulness of grief. 

* See M. Sismondi. 
. 4* 


It is related of one of the kings of Spain, that he wished to 
many a certain beautiful lady, and that after his overtures were 
made, that he was rejected. Much surprise at her conduct was 
manifested, and it was not until after much solicitation, that she 
could be induced to tell, what she called, the hidden and fatal 
reason, why she could never become the Ring's wife. It was, 
that in coming down a certain stair-case, in company with the 
king's brother, his lips and her's came in contact. The fact was 
that she liked the king's brother better than she did the king, and 
him at last she married. And creditable it is, though strange 
it sounds of a Spaniard, the king had magnanimity enough to 
forgive them both. 

§ 19. Melancholy sensibility is a more common mark of the 
poetry of the north, than of the south of Europe. The pleasant, 
the beautiful, and praiseworthy things of Spain, are fitful in their 
appearance, and evanescent in their stay. The ferocity of the 
soldiers, and the vindictive spirit of the citizens, were probably 
produced by the revolting spectacle of seeing persons burned to 
death by the Inquisition. The Mexican national character is 
Spanish. The ancient national character of the country, in the 
time of the Romans, does not appear to have had the bloody 
stains upon it which are apparent' in modern times. But the 
Visigoths, who were the conquerors of Spain, the popes, and the 
aidos da fe, were all then unknown. 

There never was a character which more disgraced a crown, 
except Nero, than Philip II., of Spain. He had, as we are told 
by M. Sismondi, a savage disregard of the miseries of war and 
famine. His perfidy was most shameful and fiendlike, and his 
ambition to do evil, unbounded. As an expiation for such mon- 
strous crimes, he introduced a new one, still more monstrous. 
This was the Inquisition, a cruel, unjust court, which was first 
invented in the twelfth century. As he had shut the gates of 
mercy on mankind, in civil matters, he made the mild religion of 
Christians, a sanguinary engine of torture in religious ones. He 
calculated to expiate his own crimes, by exquisitely punishing 
those who were innocent of any crime whatever. We feel dis- 
gusted, and a contempt beyond all the powers of expression, at 
a kingly wretch, who could so transform a religion of mildness, 


purity and benevolence, as to make it the engine of bonds, im- 
prisonment, chains, torture, and the faggot. 

We are told that some of the ruthless ancients, not very justly 
called Fathers, struck out of the Bible that passage, Jesus wept ; 
they thinking, as appears by the testimony of Epiphanius, that 
his weeping was a degradation of his character. But it was the 
very text that ought to have been noticed by such persons as 
Philip II. ; as denoting for his imitation, a disposition touched 
with human infirmities, merciful, benevolent and forbearing, mild 
and placable. In all things the very antipodes of Philip II., that 
monster of iniquity, is that character which this text designates. 

It seems doubtful whether the Spaniards derived from the 
Moors, the true characteristics of Arabic poetry. The aim of 
the Arab, was to make a bold and brilliant use of the most 
gigantic images. Their poetry never aims to express the tender 
emotions of the heart, but the most ardent passion, emotion, and 
hyperbole of the soul. Hence the very best poets that Europe 
ever produced, from Homer to Byron, would not be esteemed 
worth translating by them. They are all too tame — too smooth, 
and in their view, quite insipid and timid. 

By what a Tartarian monster such cruelty ought to be punish- 
ed, as was that of Nero and Philip II., we will introduce a few 
couplets, of what may be deemed the Arabic description. 


A fiery serpent with a red hot tongue, 
And blue-flatne breath, his boiling poison flung, 
A thousand feet his length, twice two his tails, 
Like red-hot pitchforks sharp ; his teeth red nails ; 
Brimstone his food, of boiling pitch he drank, 
He darts aloft, or coils into a bank ; 
His flaming breath, blows white the red-hot coals, 
And whirlwind sparks, fly high, when he unrolls : 
All his delight to torture damned souls, 
On Nero now his flaming breath is spent, 
Through Philip's head his red-hot tongue is sent, 
While with his tails, all hell with wonder sees, 
Their bodies thrown, high as the highest trees. 

A Spanish lady of fashion, was surprised by her lover, with 
another lover ; and to his furious reproaches, she calmly answer- 


ed, that she was persuaded that he did not love her, since he 
believed his own eyes in preference to her word. 

It would seem that the Roman Catholic laity, although they so 
highly reverence their priests, are not entirely blind to their luxu- 
ry, laziness, and sensuality. One of the Spanish writers says of 
them, that to live pleasantly, to buy good fish, the whitest bread, 
and the finest wine, is their object, the whole year round. And 
he adds, God willing, I would be of this order, if I could pur- 
chase my salvation at this price. 

Another says of them, that he held Saint Peter, and Saint An- 
drew, to have been egregious fools, for suffering so many torments 
for the sake of God, since all these people also are to be saved, 
meaning the clergy of the Romanists, of his time. 

Love, and a nice sense of honor were the leading characteris- 
tics of Arabian manners, which the Moors introduced into Spain. 
They regarded the habitation of their wives as a sanctuary, and 
any reflection cast upon their females, as blasphemy. 

O ! I must write to you my dear upon asbestos : my sighs, and 
tears, and flaming breath of love, would destroy paper, like a 
blaze of the hottest fire. 

Mr. Burke said, that there could be no virtue where there was 
no wisdom. Were this rule applied to love-letters, they would be 
condemned as without the limits of wisdom and virtue ; they 
generally being most insufferably nonsensical, in the opinion of 
all, except those for whom they are designed. 

The romances, and poetry, and novels of Europeans and Amer- 
icans, must keep within the limits of some kind of probability, 
although they are pictures of what might have been true, rather 
than truth itself. But Arabian stories, as in the Arabian Nights, 
keep not within any such bounds. 

A tale, which does not astonish, surprise and confound, and 
which does not set at defiance all sober calculation, and rational 
theory, is with that imaginative people, dull, lifeless, and unwor- 
thy of notice. 

A kill-sky salutation, a thunder-tongued speech, and an Ossa 
on Pelion description, alone have charms for them. 

All the east partakes of this inflated taste. A Turkish paper 
tells that, " a soul-animating rose-bush, bud and blossom yielding, 



in the happy imperial rose-garden, has exhibited signs of vegeta- 
tion ;" by which it is understood that the Sultan is expecting an 
addition to his family. 

They loved to hear of flying against tornadoes, of breasting 
floods, fires, furies and fears, and of scaling the towering Ararat. 

The Turkish Sultan, when the French under Buonaparte, in- 
vaded Egypt, called upon all true believers, to take arms against 
those swinish infidels, the French, that they might deliver their 
blessed habitations from their accursed hands. 

§ 20. The Sultan holds a feast upon a curious occasion every 
year. It is on the 17th of May, and is celebrated at the Sweet 
Springs. It is on account of the cattle being turned to green 
pasture at that time of year. A pleasant feast, at a pleasant 
place, and for a pleasant cause. 

The beginning of a letter lies before me to the Grand Sultan, 
which is a fair sample of eastern style ; it is thus : — My Sublime, 
Magnanimous, Awe-inspiring Mighty Great Sovereign, our bene- 
factor and the benefactor of all mankind ; may God grant to 
vour sublimity a life without end.* 

An Arab describing a giant. — A giant stood behind the highest 
pyramid of Egypt, looking over its top, towards the river. He 
had been to the city of Alexander, and came from the utmost 
springs of the river Nile. His shoes were of wood ; they had 
formerly been two large canoes ; he had one of them on each 
foot, which it completely fitted and filled. His walking cane was 
the mast of a seventy-four gun ship, which he had hauled on 
shore from the harbor of Alexandria, and then pulled out. His 
course from the pyramid, was towards the Nile, which he seemed 
inclined to cross. I doubted whether he would wade, or swim, 
or sail the river ; but he did neither ; he jumped over from the 
eastern to the western shore, at a single bound, but split his 
shoes by the leap. 

A blazing fire, made of human bodies, of dried, well seasoned 
mummies, from the catacombs of Egypt, warms the Arab by night,, 
and the milk of his mare, sustains him by day. 

* From Ibrahim Bey, Pasha of Egypt. 


§ 21. Mr. Warburton,* speaks of the Egyptians as having 
animalized the asterisms. But the aborigines of America, had 
done the same before the continent was discovered. The con- 
stellation of the Great Bear, bore the same name in the Indian 
language, as that of great bear in English. 

" The very silliest things in life, 
Create the most material strife." 

The world is, in this respect, in modern, as it was in ancient 
times. Mr. Hume observes, " what can be imagined more trivial 
than the difference between one color of livery and another, in 
horse races ? yet this difference begat two most inveterate factions 
in the Greek empire, the Prasina and Veneti, who never sus- 
pended their animosities till they ruined that unhappy govern- 

Lope de Vega, would confine all rules of art under six locks 
and keys, when he was about to write a play, before he began a 
line of it. But poets, and authorities, and judges, and all sorts 
of people, may, like the Spaniard, defy and deny all rules occa- 
sionally, and thus gain more credit from those who pay, that is, 
the vulgar, than by observing them ; and more applause from 
those who applaud, that is, fools. 

One of Lope de Vega's characters, Tello, says that his father, 
when he died, gave particular directions for one of his hands to 
be left out of the grave, that he might be able to receive, what any 
one was disposed to give him. 

The horse of the Arab knows his master as well as the dog of 
the Frank, and is attached to him as affectionately. 

We keep in view the Arab and Spaniard, as having many 
things in common, as to customs and literature. We were told 
not many years ago, and for aught that we know, it may be the 
case now, that the Spanish popular preachers, adorned their ser- 
mons, or rather speeches, with images drawn from the ancient 
mythology. And that they would not have thought that they had 
much success in their vocation, unless they had been cheered 
with repeated bursts of laughter. Jests, a play on words, and 

* Divine Legation, b. iv. s. 4. 
+ Seept. 1 Ess. 8. 


scandalizing episodes, with a romantic sporting style, were char- 
acteristics of the pulpit, as well as of the play-house. And even 
blasphemous expressions were sometimes used, and afterwards 
explained away by their clergy. 

We have been present at religious assemblies, in which violent 
bursts of grief, instead of laughter, were considered by the 
speaker, as a token of his success. This excessive anxiety to 
rarity the passions, is of Arabic origin. It was most apparent in 
Spain, and there it was directly derived from the Moors. But it 
had spread into other kingdoms, and was arrested in England, by 
the Puritans and Presbyterians ; who with a view to check the 
abuses apparent in external religion, endeavored to deprive it of 
all worldly colors and colorings, and to fix its basis on the heart 
and understanding alone. A sober, sad, unyielding demeanor, 
which was not altered by either joy or grief, blessings or judg- 
ments, mercies or afflictions, luck good or bad, jests or dirges, 
was a mark of puritanism. 

A Chinese, who knew nothing of Christians, should he visit 
Europe, and have a Bible put into his hands, which had been 
translated into his own language, would have no idea that the 
Spanish priests were Christian ministers, by their sermons, nor 
the Puritans a Christian people, by their looks. 

The extremity of puritanism was reached by the Quakers, who 
abjured all external religion, except as evidenced by a religious 
life and conduct. Hence they seldom preached ; they prayed in 
secret, or mentally, and never sang at all. 

The pure principles of equality, were advocated by them : 
hence they had neither bishops, priests, ministers, elders, nor 
deacons. In civil government, they would have no governors. 
They even carried these principles of equal rights, so far as 
to extend them to inanimate objects, and would, at one time, 
have none of their books printed, with any capital letters in 
them !* 

To the house of Bourbon, M. Sismondi awards the credit of 
abolishing the burning of heretics in Spain. The last Auto de 
fe, was in the time of Charles II. 

* London Quarterly Review. 


A rich imagination, with a whimsical style, is a mark of Span- 
ish writers, and this, one of their own poets might have had in 
view, when he wrote the following lines : 

" Let every candidate for fame, 

Rely upon this wholesome rule, 
Your work is bad, if wise men blame, 

But worse, if lauded by a fool !" 

After all, it cannot be denied but that the style of many parts 
of the Bible is highly figurative, and that all the eastern nations 
retain to this day, some resemblance in their style, to that which 
is found in the sacred writings. 

It has been thought strange, that the most western nations of 
Europe, should have had more resemblance to the Asiatics, than 
any other part of it. But the solution is to be found in the con- 
sideration, that this part of Europe, lies nearest to Africa, the 
northern coasts of which derived its inhabitants from Asia — to the 
Moors once having been in possession of Spain, and to the Por- 
tuguese having first doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and visited 
India in their voyages. 

The East Indies were first visited by the Portuguese, as were 
the West Indies by the Spaniards. 

To the inhabitants of the Peninsula, we must therefore award 
the credit of having discovered new countries, or countries before 
unknown to Europe, and of having invented new and noble ideas 
in their writings. To the English, and to their descendants, the 
palm must, however, be awarded, for their immense improvements 
in each — improvements which would have never been made by 
their original discoverers. 

Much that is done in all Roman Catholic countries, is rather to 
be gazed at than admired. 

§ 22. Alfonso I. of Portugal, is supposed to have been the 
founder of that kingdom. He had for his arms, five escutcheons 
ranged in form of a cross, on which were represented the thirty 
pieces of silver, the price for which Jesus was betrayed. 

The city of Lisbon, if the Portuguese are to be believed, was 
founded by Ulysses. 


A trait of the Portuguese literature is the bringing of religious 
plays upon the stage. At one period they made St Anthony, 
their patron-saint, Generalissimo of their armies, but the church, 
in his^name, received the pay for his military services. 

The warring world, has presented the road to heaven, black 
with clotted, and red with gushing blood, and never were specta- 
cles of horror more apparent than in those wars undertaken pure- 
ly for the sake of religion. Whoever casts his eyes upon the 
pages of history, as they relate to the wars of the Saracens, which 
were undertaken to establish Mahometanism, and to the crusades, 
cannot fail to find out this. 

§ 23. The crusades, when their objects are considered, can- 
not but strike the mind, and thrill the heart, and accelerate the 
pulse, and raise the soul, to sublime emotions. They were holy 
wars, whose aim was to rescue a holy land, a holy city, a holy 
sepulchre, from the hands of infidels — a region where the holy 
prophets had dwelt and had prophesied : where the holy people 
had fought the Philistine, the Assyrian, and the Jebusite — a city 
where the throne of the Lord had been established on earth — 
a city of our God below — a city to which the child Jesus had been 
carried, in order to be presented to the Lord — a city where Isaiah 
had prophesied ; where David had reigned and written, and where 
Solomon had recorded the never ending words of wisdom, and 
had erected a temple for the residence of the Divinity. How rich 
the recollections — how redolent the rehearsal — how fruitful of 
food to the feelings of every thing connected with our religion ! 
A region in its associations most lovely — the loveliest of the love- 
ly ; and yet in its reversal of events, most austere and terrible : 
for in this same city, one million, one hundred thousand of the 
chosen people perished, by the Roman armies, under Vespasian 
and Titus, or rather by their own suicidal superstition ; those 
humane Emperors, not wishing to destroy either the city or the 
citizens, had they not been compelled by the wicked obstinacy of 
the Jewish leaders. 

The inhabitants were reduced to such extremity by famine, 
that the young nursing mother's breasts afforded nothing but 


blood for her infant's support ; which offspring of her own, she 
was at last constrained by hunger to kill and to eat. 

It is not wonderful that a land producing such vast and varied 
events, should have a language of interjections. When Asia i* 
visited, the garden of Eden is approached : when at Jerusalem, 
the river Jordan, and Galilee, and the lake Genneseret, Caperna- 
um, Chorazin, Bethsaida, the mount of Olives, and mount Cal- 
vary are approximated — names of places which preach sermons 
by their bare mention, as the mention of Egypt, and Babylon 
and Jericho, place historical volumes before our eyes. 

The Saracens considered the voice of heaven, throuo-h its 
prophet Mahomet, and its word in the Koran, to have pointed out 
the only pathway of salvation for their souls, m the subjugation 
of the world to the tenets of Islamism ; and that every one who 
fell fighting in a cause so glorious, was sure of eternal glory; 
whilst the Crusaders believed that the honor of the only true reli- 
gion was sullied, by the theatre upon which its founder was born 
and crucified, baptized, preached, and wrought miracles, being in 
the possession of unbelievers. 

Each party believed itself the worshippers of the true God ; 
and each party had many prodigies to adduce, as having been 
performed by heaven's hand in its own favor. That the king of 
heaven was on their own side, each party was fully persuaded ; 
and that He did not give them the entire and total victory, was 
imputed to the agency of demons and evil spirits, who opposed 
the will of heaven, and caused success to sometimes lean towards 
their enemies. 

The Crusaders imagined that they were combatting the powers 
of hell in incarnate forms, when they fought the Saracens ; and 
both parties, at that period of "time, supposed that a war was 
waged between spirits, good and bad, just as on earth betwixt 
armies and nations. 

The dark and dreadful powers of enchantment, had much to 
do against the knights, and Godfrey and Baldwin, the leaders of 
the Christians, in the crusades. 

§ 24. The manners and customs of eastern nations never 
change. Modern travellers discover features of character among 


the present inhabitants, which serve to throw light upon some 
things mentioned in the Bible. The inhabitants of Spain, and 
Portugal, having their national characters based upon eastern 
models, likewise retain their enduring propensities. 

The reformation altered the religious nationality of those 
countries which adopted it ; but prior to that period, Europe in 
her other kingdoms, was much as is the Peninsula now. We 
have referred to the burlesque, introduced into the sermons of the 
Spanish priests ; but Dr. Robertson, in his Life of Charles V., 
mentions the same thing in regard to Luther himself; of whose 
cotemporaries he says, "nor were they offended at the gross 
scurrility with which his polemical writings are filled, or at the 
low buffoonery which he sometimes introduces into his gravest 
discourses." And he adds, that " no dispute was managed in 
those rude times without a large portion of the former ; and that 
the latter was common even on the most solemn occasions, and in 
treating the most sacred subjects."* 

Nothing is more probable than that Mahomet, when he affirm- 
ed that Moses and Jesus gave true revelations at first, but that 
they were lost, founded this opinion upon the conduct, and mode 
of worship, which he had learned that the Christians had adopted 
in his day. It is not on the whole, very probable, that he ever 
(earned any thing directly from the Bible, or ever saw one at all. 
Printing was then unknown, and copies of the Scriptures very 
scarce, and very dear. The whole Christian world was then 
Papistical, for even the Greek church, which was the earliest 
seceder from the Roman, did not leave the holy mother until about 
two hundred years after Mahomet. 

With the greatest reason imaginable, might he then conclude, 
that true and genuine revelation was unknown, when he beheld, 
or heard of the enormities of that world denominated Christian^ 
in the dark ages of the Romish church ; a period when monkish 
superstition was combined with heathenish idolatry. The VisL* 
goths had overrun Spain. There was, or had lately been a civil 
war in France. The Jews at Antioch, had revolted and murdered 
the Christians. The Sclavonians and Avari, had lately ravaged 

* See Vol. II. p. 159. 


Italy ; and the Persians had taken Jerusalem, and carried off the 
cross of Christ. 

The Jews, whom foreign nations confounded with the Chris- 
tians, were about the same period, banished from both France 
and Spain. The barbarians at Rome, had done away the ver- 
nacular use of the Latin language ; and the power of the Popes 
had lately begun or been increased in the same city. 

There is no proof that Mahomet understood either Greek or 
Hebrew, and therefore, if he could have obtained a copy of the 
Bible, he could not have read it ; for it never was translated into 
Arabic, till more than eight hundred years after Mahomet. 

Had the prophet of Mecca lived in the time of Luther, and 
had he understood the Bible as well, he might have embraced 
Christianity, and been an able promulgator of the true faith ; the 
moral precepts which he has given in the Koran, being many of 
them very similar to those contained in the New Testament, as 
before observed. 

But the greatest wonder, enigma, and problem, is from whence 
the Koran was derived ; it being superior in the splendor of its 
composition, and sublimity of its ideas, to any thing known to 
have been composed in the seventh century, in any part of the 
world, Christian, Pagan, or Mahomedan. This no one will 
deny. We find the same elevated sentiments respecting the 
Deity, which Cicero, Plato, and even which the Bible itself ex- 
presses, in the Psalms ; and the same moral rules respecting an- 
ger, the forgiveness of injuries, and giving to the poor, which are 
found in that greatest of all sermons, the sermon on the mount. 

But after noticing these things, and examining the evidence 
respecting Mahomet's ever having had the Bible, or ever having 
received any oral assistance, the external evidence is lacking, and 
the internal evidence strongly against it ; for in the first place, let 
it be considered, that the Bible, in those days, what few volumes 
of it was in the world, was not in the hands of the common peo- 
ple, but that it was sedulously kept from them by the Popes. 

Secondly, that there were no Arabic Bibles, in the world at all. 
*. Thirdly, those parts of the Bible to which the Koran bears'so 
'hear a resemblance, are such parts of it as have been approached 
to, the nearest, by a few wise Greeks and Romans, by Seneca^ 


and the Chinese ; and are just such parts of the sacred writings 
as vagabond Jews and monks, would be least likely to retain, and 
to communicate. They are passages too sublime for the vulgar, 
or the vagabond, and no others, who had any knowledge of the 
Scriptures, are even pretended to have conveyed any oral know- 
ledge of them to Mahomet. 

Sergius, a monk, is mentioned as an assistant in the composi- 
tion of the Koran. There is no kind of authority for so saying, 
and if there was, the internal marks of the Koran would go to 
prove that he could have been nothing more than an amanuensis, 
a thing not very probable for a foreigner. There is nothing of 
monkish superstition in the Koran. 

§ 25. The Great Author of the Christian system, said of him- 
self, that he was the light that lighteth the world. That the light 
that he introduced into the world, should have shone into Arabia — 
that it should have illuminated parts of the world where the 
written word had not been sent, nor Gospel preachers ever reach- 
ed, is the position, in regard to the matter, which we assume, in 
this sui generis instance. Consonant is this, to the cessation of 
oracles in the world, since his advent, and the miracles of healing 
performed by Vespasian, as related by Josephus. 

From the Rev. Mr. Buck's Theological Dictionary, we will in- 
troduce some extracts from the Koran, in proof of what we have 

" God ! there is no God but he ; the living, the self-subsisting ; 
neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him ; to him belongeth whatso- 
ever is in heaven and on earth. Who is he that can intercede 
with him but through his good pleasure ? He knoweth that 
which is past, and that which is to come. His throne is extended 
over heaven and earth, and the preservation of both is to him no 
burden. He is the high, the mighty."* 

This passage of the Koran is said to be engraved on the orna- 
ments, recited in the prayers, and much admired by the Mussul- 
men. * 

Relating to moral duties, we have the following precepts : — I 
" show mercy, do good to all, and dispute not with the ignorant." 

* Sale's Koran, Vol. II. p. 30— Theological Dictionary. 



" Seek him who turns thee out ; give to him who takes from thee; 
pardon him who injures thee ; for God will have you plant in 
your souls the roots of his chief perfections."* 

As an instance of their precepts, reduced to practice, and as 
evincive of the knowledge of the Koran, even among Mahome- 
tan slaves, we give the following anecdote. 

The caliph Hassan, son of Hali, being at table, a slave let fall 
a dish of meat, reeking hot, which scalded him severely. The 
slave fell on his knees, rehearsing these words of the Alkoran ; 
" Paradise is for those who restrain their anger." " I am not 
angry with thee," answered the caliph. " And for those who for- 
give offences against them," continues the slave. " I forgive thee 
thine," replies the caliph. " But above all, for those who return 
good for evil," adds the slave. " I set thee at liberty," rejoined 
the caliph ; " and I give thee ten dinars."f 

Could it be proved that sentiments and deeds such as these, 
were actually derived from our Scriptures, many would hold them 
in higher estimation ; but as these Mahometans give all the glory 
to one only true God, the reference is to the same ultimate source 
to which it belongs. 

* Buck's Dictionary, Art. Koran. 

t Theological Dictionary, by the Rev. Charles Buck. 


We have already noticed, that the passages of the Koran, 
which bear the greatest analogy to the Bible description of the 
Deity, and to its moral precepts, were such as were not exclu- 
sively found in it. And in proof of this, we will introduce, in- 
stead of giving our own words, a passage found in the works of an 
eminent divine. It contains, it is true, admissions which we did 
not expect to have seen ; but still, they are, in part, undeniably 
correct. He says, " In reality the necessity of forgiving injuries, 
though frequently inculcated in the Alkoran, is of later date 
among the Mahometans than among the Christians ; among 
those later than among the heathens ; and to be traced originally 
among the Jews. (See Exodus xxxiii, 4, 5.)" What is incorrect 
in the above quotation is, that the Rev. writer sends us to a part 
of the Bible for proof that the forgiveness of injuries is a Jewish 
doctrine, when the place to which he sends us, says not a single 
word, nor gives a remote hint of any thing of the kind, or any 
way connected with the subject at all ! We felt but little disap- 
pointment on this occasion however, when we recollected that it 
was not a new thing for the Rev. author to treat his readers in 
this way. His volume abounds with such deceitful references. 
Indeed, on the present occasion, before examining that part of the 
Bible to which reference is made, we felt a kind of indefinite 
surprise ; for it came to mind, that the Jewish doctrine was an 
eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, and that this rule was re- 
ferred to in the Sermon on the Mount, in order to be corrected. 
As a matter of curiosity, we Avill here give one of this Rev. 
author's references. It is in relation to the subject of baptism ; 
and he says, " That infants are to be received into the church, 
and as such baptized, is also inferred from the following passages 
of Scripture." We are then referred to sundry chapters and 
verses, none of which mention the subject of infant baptism, and 
one, which may stand as an example for the remainder, is as fol- 
lows : "And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multi- 
tude about them, and the scribes questioning them."* 


* Mark, ix, 14. Had we not examined oilier passages, and found lii^m 
equally irrelevant, we should Lave thought that here was some ruiatdUe, in the 
Rev. author's stereotype edition. 


§ 26. It was a remark of Sir George Lyttleton, that the 
greatest mischief which can be done to religion is to pervert it to 
the purposes of faction. But we think that equal injury has been 
suffered by the overdoings of its friends ; especially when they 
have dared to use dissimulation. The consequences have been 
direful and extensive from this source, and are apt to so alienate 
the mind, as to produce in it an incurable malady. 

We view the Scriptures as of divine origin, and that they will 
stand the test of scrutiny, and that any attempt to obviate their 
intricacies, by subterfuge, will do more injury than all that pro- 
fessed infidels can accomplish. 

They cheated a man and killed him, said a little boy to his 
father. The father was about to remonstrate, and to inform the 
child that cheating was not killing. But the child continued his 
story — that one of his schoolfellows informed him, that several 
men had combined to make another man believe that they were 
drinking gin, when in fact it was only water ; and that the man 
fell a victim to the imposture, by continuing to drink as much gin 
as his companions did of water, till he killed himself. Thus 
cheating turned out to be killing the body, and we fear has some- 
times killed the soul. 

There is no way of obtaining a correct view of things, but by 
ascending to an eminence, to a height, so high that objects may 
be viewed and reviewed in their true attitudes. 

We are sometimes bedazzled, and sometimes bewildered, by 
comments and commentators. 

Chateaubriand tells of his sleeping upon the banks of the river 
Eurotas, with his saddle for a pillow, where the light of the milky 
way was so great that he could see to read by it. But what was 
his star-light 1 To what did the illumination of these common 
people of the skies amount, when their king, the sun, appeared 
among them ? There is much of this night-light in the world, 
which depends upon darkness for its existence, and vanishes 
when day-light appears. 

It is not the number, but the magnitude of things which is 
glorious and admirable. One star may differ from another star 
in glory, but no star can compare with the sun. But here, how- 
ever, the moral and physical worlds are at variance. For although 


all the stars of heaven combined cannot make one great lumina- 
ry, yet all the people of the earth combined can make a great man. 
Great men, and great authors, owe their celebrity to great com- 
binations of the common people in their favor. It is the commu- 
nity, the majority, which makes, or unmakes a man. The tongue 
of time decides correctly, but is slow of utterance, so that a man 
is often laid low in his grave, before his reputation is raised high 
among the living. Dr. Harvey, and Mr. Milton, and even Shaks- 
peare himself, may be noticed as instances. Dr. Harvey who 
made the greatest anatomical, physiological, and medical discove- 
ry which the world has ever known, by demonstrating the circu- 
lation of the blood, instead of being benefited, was injured in his 
practice by it, so long as he lived. And Milton's Paradise Lost, 
afforded him neither fame nor money during his life. Shaks- 
peare, the great poet of nature, whose works seem likely to 
endure as long as the English language lasts, had some dawn- 
ings of royal patronage from Queen Elizabeth, but they were 
evanescent and illiberal. 

Those rapturous acclamations, which England, France, Ger- 
many, with the other kingdoms of Europe, and America, have 
awarded to his productions, have only been uttered since death 
had put him past hearing them, or of them. 

On the subject of reputation, a quaint old author speaks to this 
effect : — That the good or bad repute of men, in a great measure 
depends on mean people, who carry their stories from family to 
family, and propagate them very fast. 

And he then goes on to illustrate his subject, by a reference to 
little insects, which the smaller they be, the faster they multiply. 
Perhaps upon a thorough examination, it will turn out to be a 
fact, that those who have risen the very highest in reputation, 
have paid the least attention to those whose tongues have been 
employed to deprive them of any credit at all. Who have follow- 
ed the advice of Epictetus, which was, that when any one was 
told that another had spoken ill of him, to make no apology, but 
only to answer, that if he had not been ignorant of many other 
faults, which you had committed, he might have increased the 
catalogue. We know that this passes with many for apathy and 


meanness of spirit ; but old Chaucer says, Think not on smart, 
and thou shalt fele none. 

§ 27. We are told in the Spectator, of a lady who never 
missed one constant hour of prayer, but yet who spent six or 
eight hours of the twenty-four at cards. When her hour of prayer 
arrived, she gave her cards to another person to hold, during her 
absence. And when her devotions were over, she returned to 
her game, as the writer expresses it, with no little anxiousness.* 

Such an anecdote sounds much worse than it in reality ought 
perhaps to do, there being no passage in the Bible prohibiting the 
amusement of cards. And experience seems to have established 
the fact, that light hearts beat the longest. Human nature is so 
constituted, that it requires, and will have, some hours of recrea- 
tion. This lady's spending so much of her time at cards, we 
would not attempt to justify. But one thing at least was com- 
mendable — which was, that she did not suffer any thing to inter- 
fere with her hours of prayer. 

That puritanical principle, which would annihilate the bright 
orb of day, and blot out the stars from the firmament, and make 
all creation one incessant period of gloomy darkness, is not 
authorised by the Great Author of nature. 

He made the feathered songsters with an appetency to spend a 
great part of their time in leisure and singing. And so far as the 
sources of heavenly bliss are revealed, they are to consist in carol- 
ing unceasing praises, in a place fitted for exquisite and rapturous 

If then the joys of heaven are to be begun on earth, they can- 
not be made to consist of gloomy misanthropy, nor in a sullen 
renunciation of every pleasure and amusement. 

Besides, the example of him, whose example was of para- 
mount authority, whilst on earth, did not sanction the creed of 
gloomy worshippers, who disfigure their faces. And we find him 
giving directions to one of the chief Pharisees, at whose house he 
was at meat, who were the proper persons to be invited to his 
feasts — and to the company generally, how they were to behave, 
when bidden to a wedding. And it was, when he himself was 

* Spectator, No. 79. 


one of the guests at the latter, that his first miracle was wrought. 
There is a most unlicensed latitude taken in the interpretation 
and application of the Scriptures. 

Sectarians explain away, and in reality render null and void, 
such texts as do not happen to suit their own particular creeds. 
We have been horror-struck at the latitude of some of their per- 
versions of Scripture. 

Indeed, we can produce the books of Christian writers, and of 
Christian ministers, in which express and explicit passages of the 
Bible are denied to mean what they assert and purport, even when 
there is no pretension that they were spoken as parables — whilst 
other texts are made to mean what they do not say, nor even 
give any intimation of whatever. Obscure and difficult scrip- 
tures are plain to such writers, whilst those that are plain, are 
made dark, or of no meaning at all. And tori one instance, at 
least, we could point to a certain text, which the sectarian writer 
finding so much in his way that he could not remove it, has treated 
with sneers and downright ridicule. 

Every part of Scripture is not equally plain, and it is our 
method, to regard the literal expressions as conveying the true 
meaning, where no metaphor, hyperbole, similitude, nor parable 
is used. But there are certain sects who incline to make a Bible 
for themselves, and to unmake that which is made for them. 

Those acquainted with the matter need not be told, that some 
parts of the Gospel itself, are never quoted by some sectarians, 
nor any weight given to them, whilst others seem to regard such 
neglected texts, as containing all that is necessary to be known, 
taught, or studied, and as a substitute for the whole of divine 

But Milton tells of those who will do almost any thing, if they 
do not smell within themselves the brimstone of hell. 

§ 28. We find now and then, in scattered and detached frag- 
ments, and at great distances apart, those things which most we 
wish to ,know. 

Ministers are men, and like other men, reluctantly speak of 
knotty points ; and when we come to one of them who is eminent 


in his profession, and who speaks upon intricate subjects, wt lis- 
ten to him with much interest. We will notice some of these. 

" It is well worth remarking upon this place, that the promise, 
ye shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve* tribes of Israel, 
was made to the Apostles, at that time when Judas was yet one 
of the number ; and consequently, the promise was as much 
made to him as to any of the rest : from whence it follows unde- 
niably, that he was not predestinated to be a traitor, but fell from 
his apostleship, and from his right to this promise, by his after 
voluntary transgression."* 

This writer appears to us to have spoken as sensibly in senti- 
ment, and as soundly in doctrine, as any one that we have read, 
upon this point. The apocryphal books, so deemed by protest- 
ants, are considered canonical by papists. 

Mr. Burke, speaking upon the book of Ecclesiasticus, says that 
he does not determine whether it be canonical, but of this he is 
sure, that " it contains a great deal of sound sense and truth. "t 

" The Mosaic law was intended for a single people only, who 
were to be shut in as it were, from the rest of the world, by a 
fence of legal rites and typical ceremonies ; and to be kept by 
that means separate and unmixed, until the great antitype, the 
Messiah, should appear, and break down this fence, and lay open 
this inclosure. 1 '! 

Of the resurrection, it has been said, that Job believed that the 
soul slept with the body until the resurrection. This was the 
Egyptian opinion. The mention of any resurrection at all, is no 
where so explicitly made in the Old Testament, as by Job. The 
New Testament teaches that a general day of judgment is to be 
held, at the end of the world, when the solemn decision is to be 
made, where, and to which region, every individual is to be as- 

But in the interval, the space between death, and the period 
when this ultimate determination and final award is to take place, 
the state and location of the soul, seems to stand without any ex- 

* Clarke, Vol. II. Ser. 138. Richardson's Dictionary, Art. Apostle, 
t Burke on the French Revolution. 
\ Atterbury, Vol. I. Ser. 4. 


plicit mention. Nor do we know the general opinion of divines 
upon this point. 

In our common-place book, we notice the following extract, in 
which the eminent writer refers or tells what others believed ; but 
without at last giving any very definite opinion, that we discover, 
of his own. He tells us, that " the fathers believed that they who 
die in the Lord, rest from their labors, and are in blessed places, 
and have antcpasts of joy and comforts ; yet in those places they 
are reserved unto the judgment of the great day."* 

Tyndal, in his IVorkc, tells of " sophisters with an antheme of 
half an inch, out of which some of them draw a thread of nine 
days long." We do not wish quite so protracted a discourse upon 
the present subject, but should have been better satisfied, if Bish- 
op Taylor had given us his own ideas, instead of those of the 
fathers only. 

A divine with whom we was lately in company, expressed his 
own view, which was, that the soul remained in the same state, 
as it is, when during life, a person sleeps. He was of the Baptist 

There have been some very sensible men, who believed in im- 
pressions, and premonitions of future events ; and the great wit 
of England, would appear to have been one of those. He says, 
" why hath not my soul these apprehensions, these presages, 
these changes, those antedates, those jealousies, those suspicions 
of a sin, as well as my body of a sickness."t 

Angels, which were called in Saxon, God's errand ghosts, the 
heathen philosophers are supposed by Bishop Bull, to have ac- 
knowledged the existence of, although they called them by other 
names, such as demons, genii, or the like.f 

"VWlearn that the ancient Hebrews styled the resurrection of 
the body, the angelical clothing of the soul.§ 

We read, in one and the same chapter, of an angel having 
smote Peter on the side, and liberated him from prison ; and of 
an angel having smote Herod so that he died. 

" Bishop Taylor. Dissuasive from Popery, p. iv. part ii. sec. 2. 
t Dr. Donne. Devotions, 
t Bishop Bull, Vol. I. ser. 2. 
§ See Cudworth's Intellectual System, p. 797. 


It seems to have been the idea entertained by the people, who 
lived in those times, that every person had his guardian angel, 
which not only represented him in person, but also in voice ; for 
when Peter, after his release from prison, knocked at the gate, 
the damsel inside, knew him by his voice, and instead of opening 
it, ran in and told the people of the house. These disbelieved 
her. And when she constantly affirmed that it was Peter, al- 
though she had not, as it appears, seen him, and only knew that 
it was he by his voice, they said it is his angel. 

It would seem that Peter's knocking was accompanied with his 
hailing or hallooing ; as we are told, that Rhoda, the damsel, 
came to hearken. This hearkening must have been for the pur- 
pose of learning who the person was that wished admittance. 
To hear, and not to wait to hearken, is usually thought sufficient, 
when any one knocks ; sufficient, we mean, for those within to 
open the door, or to bid the person to walk in, and thus to give 
him the liberty to open the door for himself. But the custom of 
the times when the Acts were written, appears to have been for 
the person wishing admittance, to announce himself at the gate 
or door, or door of the gate, before it was opened. 

Angelic agency, good and evil, seem distinctly portrayed, by 
the liberation of Peter from prison, and the knocking off of his 
chains, and by the killing of Herod. A German divine, to whom 
Adam Clarke refers, would ascribe the deliverance of Peter, to 
the friendship of the jailer, or prefect of the prison, and thus deny 
any supernatural interposition. German infidelity has become 
almost proverbial, and Dr. Clarke thinks this poor divine, an ob- 
ject of pity. 

§ 28. It would seem, that the Persian Magi, in their Arima- 
nius, and the Egyptians, in their Typhon, personated evil, or evil 
angels only. And it is said of the Greeks, that they did, at one 
period of their history, like the Indians of America, sacrifice to 
evil demons. 

Typhon, was the son of Tartarus and Terra, or of earth and 
hell ; a giant, with a hundred heads, resembling those of a dragon, 
or serpent. Flames of devouring fire, are said to have darted 
from his mouth and eyes. He was no sooner born than he waged 



war against heaven and its gods, and so frightened them, that 
they assumed the shapes of various brute animals, in order to 
conceal themselves from his fury. Typhon was regarded by the 
Egyptians, as the source of every evil, and in consequence, repre- 
sented as a wolf, or a crocodile. He was at last put past doing 
harm by the father of the gods, who crushed him under mount 

If any monster more anomalous, can be produced from the re- 
cords of antiquity, it must be that of a serpent, with a head at 
each extreme. The dragon or winged serpent, comes next, who 
when called the fiery dragon, stands for satan himself. Last of 
all comes the atheist, who has got ahead of the whole in ab- 

§ 29. The iron gate, having opened to Peter of its own accord, 
is, we believe, an anomaly. We must call to mind the ideas of 
the Jews, and the notions of the ancients, upon this point. They 
supposed that spirits occasionally located themselves in particular 
inanimate objects. No doubt the writer meant to be understood, 
and was understood by those of his day, as conveying nothing 
but what was well comprehended and acknowledged ; that is, 
that a spirit or angelic essence, was for the time, and for the pur- 
pose, the inhabitant of the iron gate, and that it was opened by 
his potency. 

The account given. of the death of Herod in Josephus, has 
been supposed by commentators, to differ very essentially from 
that given in the Acts. 

§ 30. Josephus gives several particulars, which are not con- 
tained in the book of the Acts. But perhaps a person sufficient- 
ly well informed respecting the customs and opinions of the an- 
cients, and who had sufficient talents and ingenuity of his own, 
might be able to reconcile the seeming discrepancies. 

It appears from both accounts, that the death of Herod Agrip- 
pa, took place at Cesarea, whither he went as Josephus relates, 
and exhibited shows and games, in honor of Claudius, making 
vows for his health. On the second day of these games, Herod 
appeared in the theatre, arrayed in a garment made wholly of 


silver, and of a contexture truly wonderful. The rays of the 
morning sun, falling upon this splendid garment, shone out in a 
surprising manner, which struck the beholders with awe and 
horror. He was then saluted as a god by his flatterers, and his 
mercy implored by them. This impious flattery was not rebuked 
by the king ; at which time, happening to look upwards, Herod 
saw an owl perched on a certain rope, over his head. This bird 
of ill omen, he conceived to be a messenger of evil tidings to 
himself. This produced in him, as the historian expresses it, the 
deepest sorrow ; and he adds, that a severe pain arose in his 
bowels, and that he died after five days severe illness.* 

That violent mental agitation will affect the bodily organs, is 
known to every physician. Despondency, depression of spirits, 
grief and sorrow, sometimes amount to that most afflicting dis- 
ease, hypochondriacism, accompanied with melancholy anddys- 
pepsy, and sometimes despair. We think that we have known 
this state of mind to affect the bowels unfavorably, and perhaps 
in a few instances, fatally. The sight of the owl, therefore, 
which seems to have been the immediate exciting cause of Her- 
od's sorrow and perturbation, might have been considered &4 an 
evil angel itself, or the habitation of one ; as the opening of one 
of the iron gates of the city, of its own accord, was no doubt 
meant to convey the meaning of a benevolent invisible agent. 

The Jews had the most technical religion that ever existed in 
the known world. It was made up of ceremonies, and' rites, and 
ordinances, of which they were extremely tenacious. Most events 
were by them referred to special and particular providences, to 
the immediate interposition of the Divinity himself, or to the 
agency of his messengers or angels. Angel, in the original, 
, meaning nothing but a messenger. The inquiry naturally arises 
in the mind, by what power a general providence was carried on, 
whilst a special providence was counteracting it ? 

This religion of ceremonies, of circumcision, of feasts, fasts, 
of years of Jubilee, and of days set apart for special purposes, 
was succeeded by one, which as Paley observes, contains less 

* See Whiston's Josephus. Ant. lib. xix. cap. 8. sec. 2. We have abridg- 
ed his account. 



of ritual, than any other that ever prevailed amongst man- 

That the efforts of inanimate matter made itself a worm, and 
that this worm by its own striving, made itself limbs, and thus, 
that matter itself, without any agency, divine or intelligent, be- 
came animals, with all their various functions, symmetry and 
ability, is an atheistical notion, as unconsonant with facts as with 
philosophy and experience. For how, it may be asked, should 
this struggle after utility and usefulness, ever have ended in such 
a multiplicity of rites as had the Jews, or such a complicated my- 
thology as had the heathen, both of which had usages not in- 
stinctive nor pleasurable, but on the contrary, extremely burden- 
some. Besides, how should this striving of a worm after useful 
limbs, and pleasurable sensations, ever have ended in the structure 
of a human body, which is visited with pain and sickness, and 
mental maladies, and liable to death 1 Yes, why should animal 
organization be deranged by pain, and dissolved by death, when 
matter itself, by man, cannot be annihilated at all ? 

If man was formed from the appetency of matter, arid from 
the covetings, desirings, and longings of the worm, to become a 
more perfectly organized creature, why did not this perpetual en- 
deavor, this imperceptible exertion, this effort of incalculable 
ages, render his organized existence, equally durable, if not eter- 
nal 1 for surely, the aversion to death is the greatest of all aver- 
sions, known either to man or beast. 

If matter had the plastic power of forming itself into man, it 
surely would have had the ability to have continued him in exist- 
ence, so long as he pleased to live. And we are surprised to find 
that this idea has not struck the minds of those who have dared 
to promulgate atheistical absurdities, as well as of those who have 
written in order to refute them. 

A writer of this stamp even goes so far with his materialism, as 
to maintain the opinion that ideas are material things ; whilst 
Bishop Berkeley, dissents to materialism so entirely, as to assert 
that there is no such thing as matter in the universe ! If both 
opinions are not equally heretical, which we believe, they are 
equally preposterous ; although the Bishop's notion is the easiest 



to confute, it being such an absurdity as every dog can bark 

Archbishop Tillotson observed, that the gravest and wisest per- 
son in the world, might be abused by being put into a fool's coat. 
Berkeley, appears to us to have arrayed himself in such a gar- 
ment of his own accord. 

It is one thing to make an idea clear, and another to make it 
pathetic, elevated or useful ; but a notion that is apparently absurd, 
and neither sublime, nor beautiful, nor beneficial, is not worth 
preserving, nor scarce confuting. It is worse than useless to ad- 
duce Bishop Berkeley's theory against the materialists, because it 
is immensely more absurd than any thing they ever advanced. 

§ 31. We view our own religion to be of such an elevated 
and pure character, its principles so immeasurably transcending 
all others, as to need none of those little evasions and artifices 
which little commentators and sermonizers are prone to use. 
The only way to insure justice to ourselves, is to do it to others. 
Let not Roman Catholics, nor even Mahometans, be deprived of 
all that their systems can honestly claim ; and when this is allow- 
ed them, they will look with more complacency, upon that pure 
and glorious stream which is ultimately ordained to water the be- 
nighted regions, and sterile portions of the universe. 

There is nothing which disgusts so much as to see statements, 
which we know to be false, made in relation to science and re- 

The most excellent and learned commentary upon the Bible, 
which we ever knew, a friend and acquaintance of ours, dropped 
and dismissed, and would not read another line of, from finding 
an uncandid and evasive exposition of the first verse that he 
looked at. We regretted this, for the reason that we wished our 
friend and professional brother, to read this excellent work. Still, 
we must not blame him over much, nor censure him at all, for he 
holds to the Scriptures, but not to the glasses ; and we have our- 
selves just thrown down a newspaper, for the reason that we found 
a misstatement in it. 

The elevation, the victory of one Christian sect over another, 
is at most but a partial good, for a universal evil. It is like the 



elevation of one edge of a falling platform. The occupant of the 
raised spot, stands higher than his fellows, but the whole platform 
is falling. Union is the bond, and the only bond of safety. If 
the world beholds two denominations disagreeing, one party only, 
may at first stand for a fools, but the final result will invariably be, 
that the same epithet is bestowed upon both ; and a worse conse- 
quence will in time ensue ; the religion which they differed about 
will suffer. We do not mean to insinuate that it will ever be un- 
dermined ; but that its spread and progress will be impeded ; 
infidels and infidelity will be increased, and the whole system will 
sutler from the feebleness, or cariosity, or gangrenous state of a 
limb of it. 

§ 32. We seldom hear people ridicule what they call religion, 
it is some singularity, or supposed heterodoxy, which is always 
made the pretext. Piety will become a subject of raillery when 
it greatly affects singularity. It is one of the marks of prudence, 
not to render itself remarkable. A celebrated writer thought 
that it was better to be superficial than gloomy. But a lady to 
whom I read the passage, replied, that it was best to be neither 
superficial nor gloomy. 

We sometimes sink into melancholy, without any very evident 
cause, that even ourselves can discover ; the reason of which is, 
that the state of the mind depends upon a body, which is subject 
to vary, and to lose its equilibrium. The clearest sky is liable to 
be obscured, and the soul like the body has its fogs. 

The moral world, like the natural, has its April days, in which 
sunshine and showers quickly alternate. It should be remember- 
ed, that the Jewish law was founded on fear, but that the new 
system, is one of glad tidings and love. 

Those who give their alms, with more humility than the receiv- 
er accepts them, sow their pathway of life with pearls, which will 
continue to shine when they have ceased to tread it. 

Indiscriminate charity does little good. It is better to make a 
few families comfortable, than a great number unthankful. 

Such is our lot in life, that if we have friends, they are liable to 
be scattered to remote regions, and sad is the hour when we are 
compelled to bid a dear friend adieu. 


Those books have made most noise in the World, which con- 
tained more paradoxies than solutions, more conjectures than 
truths, more raillery than sobriety, more theories than proofs, and 
more heat than light. Men of sense, have thought those works 
least meritorious, which have suddenly become most popular. 
But time corrects the error, and compels the majority to think 
with the wise, and not with the popular. 

It is sinners who cause joy in heaven, when they repent. It 
was the brother of the prodigal son, who was condemned in the 
eyes of religion, for not being properly affected at the return of 
the prodigal. We ought to be careful to pardon those who are 
pardoned in heaven. 

People avoid those who are perpetually preaching. The ser- 
mons of the Great Head of the church were short, and we find 
that he was at one time absent from his disciples for the space of 
eight days, and whither, we have no account. 

§ 33. It is as dangerous to receive indiscriminate advice from 
doctors for the soul, as from doctors for the body. System, regu- 
larity and judgment, are requisite in both cases, by inattention to 
which, sinners may pass their lives in sinning and repenting, and 
patients in recovering and relapsing. Violent and harsh reme- 
dies, are equally to be avoided in the one case as in the other ; as 
are irregularity and sudden vicissitudes. Both must be strict 
without being severe, and patient without desponding. 

Obstinate attachments, and blind prejudices, want of confi- 
dence, looking for effects without causes, breaking rules, and not 
strictly adhering to directions, without disclosing the aberration, 
are equally to be avoided, by the catechumen and the patient. 
There is no evil that such are not capable of committing, even 
with the best intentions, who follow a blind devotion ; or who 
swallow drugs by their own wayward fancies. 

The physician and the divine, must each of them be cautious 
in interfering in testaments and marriages ; and neither must 
show much signs of life, except in matters relating to his own 

Only the half learned and half wise, make themselves noted, 
by their obstinacy, vanity, intermeddling, taciturnity, or garrulity. 


Was it to set an example of forbearance towards infidels, that 
the Saducees, who held that they had no souls, and who neither 
believed in angels nor spirits, went unreproved, unspoken to, 
whilst the Pharisees were addressed in a voice of thunder 1 

Such was the fact, but the reason is not obvious, and must be 
left to the reader's own conjecture. We refer the reader to the 
New-Testament, where he will find a woe against Scribes and 
Pharisees, but none against the Saducees. 

It has been said, and the saying emanated from high authority, 
that a sick man who has lived a life of adversity, supports pain 
and disease immeasurably better than the rich man who has lived 
in affluence. But our own experience has led us to doubt this. 
Poor people are not educated so well as the rich. And that for- 
titude and deference, that resignation and heroism, which result 
from a thorough education, are conspicuous in sickness, as well 
as in war, and the other trials of life. Besides this, those who 
are favored with but few personal comforts, hold on to what they 
have, with a firm grasp. 

A mind at ease, fearless of the event, and with confidence in 
remedies, leads to unexpected recoveries. 

It has been remarked, that when patients wish for death, that 
they commonly recover ; and the reason may be, that their minds 
are not in an anxious state about futurity. 

The divine and the physician have to suffer the discouraging 
neglect of the great, the impetuous contradiction of the obstinate 
and ignorant, as well as the undeserved reproaches of the un- 

Those who despise science and education, are such as are too 
idle to cultivate them, or whose abilities are too mean to reach 
them, or whose self-conceit puffs them up above them. 

§ 34. Popularity is not so apt to be acquired by an acquaint- 
ance with dead languages, as with living manners. The popu- 
larity of some men rises, in proportion as the contents of their 
beer barrels sink. And some work themselves out of obscurity, 
as the frogs crawled into Pharaoh's palace, without any one being 
able to tell how they got there. 


There are some men, if they can live in notoriety, are contented 
to live in turmoil, like the vexed spirits of the deep, which as they 
emerge from the sediment of the sea, delight to whirl in the foam 
which they raise on its surface. 

There are some rough-hewn beings, who spend a long life in 
accumulating riches, by ways and means, and modes of living, 
and habits of acting, that men of feeling would not endure a 
single hour for all that they are worth. 

But what some one said of a certain lady, that she was of no 
particular age, will apply, a little modified, to a vast majority of 
men, who have no particular characters — who are the humble 
servants of the great — unambitious, and unoffending, and un- 
aspiring in themselves, and who aim at no higher objects than the 
approbation of the dignified, and a banquet upon their superflui- 
ties. Like the bees of Sampson, they aspire at no higher object 
than to make honey in the bowels of a lion.* 

Nine houses out of ten, are filled with this kind of population, 
in every city. They are the listeners and applauders of self- 
consequential characters, who could receive no applause else- 
where. The laughers at their stale and good-for-nothing jokes — 
the swearers that they are always right, always courageous, 
always just, always wise. 

Whoever would study human nature systematically, will find 
this class to fill one great niche in its fabric. The great star of 
these little asterisms, like Alexander, Julius, and Napoleon, find 
it easier to rule millions of men through the medium of their 
passions, than to control or rule the passions of a single man. 

We find men without eloquence, without the power of decla- 
mation, sufficient to captivate a mob, without much sense, com- 
mon or uncommon — without wit, and very meanly furnished with 
either talents or virtue, who have become vastly popular, from this 
one intuitive, instinctive tact of bowing to boobies. 

Rivalries in wit and humor, anxiety for literary preeminence, 
strife relating to distant wonders, the latest news, and matters of 
fact, which have occasioned so much sensibility and solicitude, 
so many sallies, and so much sullenness, have no place in com- 

* Mr. Cumberland. 


panies where neither wit, humor, nor literature exist. That 
familiarity of a low-bred, slovenly fellow, so dreadful to be en- 
dured, is not felt where all are seekers for distinction in the school 
of vulgarity. The fawning of a water spaniel, which a neat and 
well dressed man would so much shudder at, would scarce be 
regarded by an ostler or a fisherman. 

Matter of fact men, who would debate all day and a part of 
the night, or all night and a part of the day, about the name of 
a person, or the date of an occurrence, may pass for geniuses 
among themselves. A matter of fact, and its precise day and 
date, may sometimes be of vital importance in the trial of a case, 
before a court of law or equity ; whilst its investigation, in a con- 
vivial company, would be entirely worthless. It might spoil a 
good story, and become a nuisance to the ears of every hearer. 
Dr. Johnson would not hear nor heed such a missplaced interpre- 
ter, nor could Sir Joshua Reynolds bear an interloper of the 

But in studying to avoid particular defects, we may sometimes 
incur general ones. By too closely barricading against the cold 
and storm, we may shut out the light of the sun. There are 
some men of good sense, who have not had any great experience 
in the world, who have a very interesting and important story to 
tell, who yet cannot tell it, without entering into all the details of 
place, season, peculiarities of the weather, persons, sexes, the 
relations and friends of the parties, and a conclusion of anecdotes 
about some of the latter. Like old Pilpay, the fabler, who would 
make the end of his story about the dog, a proper introduction to 
one about a crow, and the end of the latter, a step towards an- 
other about a goat. 

The world is made up of all sorts of people, and although it 
may be interesting to know this fact, it may be very disgusting to 
come into contact with more than one half of them. Still, in 
order to benefit the community, or to be benefited by it, we must 
endure its follies. 

It is one of the best ways in the world to persuade men to be 
right, to put right opinions into their minds, and then to convince 
them that they had them in their previous possession. To make 
them right, by assuming that they are so already. Such a method 


with children, is adopted by some excellent mothers, and the pro- 
gress and proficiency of their little ones, is a proof of its ex- 

Great men, great bodies of men, and little children, must all 
be instructed in a way that best pleases them to receive instruction. 
Even flattery may in this respect be found not to have been made 
for nothing. Admonition finds a more sure conductor in praise, 
than in any other vehicle, and is often repelled by any other, 
whatever. There are some things which ought to incur the uni- 
versal resentment of humanity ; and which to avoid, ought to 
form a part of the moral education of every child, and to influ- 
ence the moral conduct of every patriotic and benevolent heart. 
One of these is cruelty of any kind, and especially the torturing, 
or putting to unnecessary pain, a brute animal. 

Dr. Johnson, supposes in his Idler, that there are among the 
inferior professors of medicine, as he expresses it, a set of wretch- 
es, who nail dogs to tables and open them alive, as a favorite 
amusement. We believe that the celebrated writer labored under 
some error of statement, from misinformation. And we venture 
to assert, that no such detestable cruelty ever was practised for 
amusement, by any one professing the noble art of healing. If 
such scenes as he portrays ever had an existence, which we very 
much doubt, they had ends in view, very different from amuse- 
ment ; and must have been designed for the discovery of those 
hidden springs of life which throw light upon the human anatomy, 
and of course upon the mitigation of maladies, the relief of pain, 
and the cure of diseases. 

The physician, if such an one could be found, guilty of wan- 
ton cruelty of any kind, ought to be held in abhorrence by his 
professional brethren, and to be, as Dr. Johnson says, more dread- 
ed than the gout or stone. 

Want of knowledge, and an overstock of malice, with the aid 
of exaggeration, have often raised a thunder-black cloud to over- 
shadow the purest designs, and most benevolent motives. 

It is a maxim, or ought to be, that he that does not govern 
himself, must be governed. 

In a republic, the majority must govern themselves, or else 
they will soon lose the name, the nature, and form of a republic, 
and decline into a monarchy. 


§ 35. War, and the small-pox, ought, if possible to be exter- 
minated from the world ; for with both, a lying spirit always did, 
and always will prevail. Lying scribblers, and trotting gossips, 
are the companions of each. 

Could we credit the Gazettes, in time of war, the enemy will 
have invaded the country at a hundred different places all at 
once. And when the small-pox breaks out in a town, report will 
say that it is in every family, or that every body has been exposed. 

Gen. Washington observed, that there existed in the economy 
of nature, an inseparable connection between duty and ad- 
vantage. But what duty really is, must be learned by a strict, 
and careful, and systematic attention to the sound principles of 
moral science. 

The French, who served a short apprenticeship to liberty in 
America, during the revolutionary war, went home and set up 
the trade for themselves, but soon broke, and became the most 
poverty-struck bankrupts, in that commodity, which the world 
had ever beheld. They lacked the indispensable requisites of 
duty, self-government, subordination, and truth. With them, the 
liberty of the press was a torch of sedition, and wo- worth were 
their principles. Every thing proved that they had not learned 
their trade. 

We had a few prominent characters of the French school, but 
they were overruled by a vast majority, who had sound religion 
and morality, with the most fervent patriotism. 

We had great men, and not a few of them, who were not great 
wits, great scholars, nor great orators. And on the other hand, 
we had some who had, like Gen. Charles Lee, and Col. Aaron 
Burr, these, all these accomplishments, who were not great men. 
In Gen. Hamilton, we had a great man, a great soldier, and ora- 
tor, with all the blandishments of his inferiors. But he failed to 
follow the good rule of Epictetus, which we have mentioned, and 
in consequence, he fell in a duel. We had some other patriots 
who fell in the same way, from a disregard of the same admo- 

The observation of the rules of Epictetus and Cleobulus, 
would forever prevent dueling. We have already noticed both 



the rules of these wise , ancients, of whom one was one of the 
seven wise men of Greece. 

The overdoings of the aspirations of liberty, maddened the 
majority in France ; but here, only a few were its deluded devo- 
tees. And these few were easily quelled, and made to pay their 
just debts, and to quit their possession of other people's land, and 
to pay the small gnat of excise, rather than to be choked to death, 
with the attempt at swallowing the infernal camel of rebellion. 

Getf. Arnold, to be sure, ruined himself by swallowing the 
camel, like a rebel, but he could not ruin his country. He fell, 
but he had only Satan's will, not his power, of dragging other 
fallen angels with him down to hell. 

We had no other traitor, whose name is not too ignoble to be 
mentioned, except that of Arnold. He was the only Coriolamis 
of his country. 

The generals of any other part of the world, of any other era, 
since the time that Moses speaks of in the first book, verse, line, 
and chapter of the Bible, fail in the comparison with those of 

They of all other periods and places, had more of ambition, 
or waywardness — more of self, and less of country — more of 
rivalry, like Caesar and Pompey, or more of family love, like 
Buonaparte — more of the unfeeling barbarism, like Charles XII. 
of Sweden — more of sordid avarice, like Marlborough, and more 
love for parade than for tactics, like Mack, who could not move 
without five loaded coaches of useless equipage. 

Our generals, and our contests, have been marked with great 
and important events, springing from small causes, and maintain- 
ed by seemingly inadequate means — whilst those of other coun- 
tries have been eminently conspicuous, for having been founded 
upon causes more notorious, for having been carried on with 
means immensely superior, and for having ended after all, in 
consequences far, immensely far, inferior to ours. 

When Augustus Caesar died, he had a pack of selected specta- 
tors, who gave a shout of applause as the emperor breathed his last, 
in token of his brilliant and successful career, and well spent life. 

There was never any need of any thing of this kind for our 
American generals. The people paid them a spontaneous horn- 


age, and retain their memories in the highest heartfelt veneration. 
The ingratitude of the republicans of antiquity, was proverbial. 
And in reading Grecian history and biography, we are forcibly 
impressed with instances of it, towards their most meritorious 

Directly the reverse is the fact in our republic. There never 
was a government more lavish of its finances, in rewarding its 
officers and common soldiers. 

The remnant of our revolutionary armies are distinguished, in 
their old age, for the benevolence of their country. Foreigners 
never have been able to reproach us with any lack of generosity 
in this respect. 

The London literati think, however, that notwithstanding our 
boasted freedom, that there are few countries in the world, that in 
reality enjoy less freedom of thought and action than ours. That 
what we call freedom, will not permit an individual to leave the 
stream, on the course of which all are swimming, and swim any 
other way.* If this is true, there is not, nor can there be, any 
charge of bonds, imprisonment, or death, to compel a man to 
swim with the tide. 

When a man, or a minority, deviates from the majority, it is 
inseperable from the nature of liberty itself, for the latter not to 
express opinions of censure, and to manifest tokens of disappro- 

§ 36. It is the order of Providence, that no institution suc- 
ceeds of itself, nor is any exception made in favor of those most 
liberal and excellent. 

Were we to judge of mankind by the reports of their opponents, 
there would be no patriots in politics, no heroes in war, no learn- 
ed lawyers, nor skilful physicians, nor sound divines. 

Monarchists judge unfavorably of republics, and savages of all 
organized institutions whatever. 

Those more acquainted with the face of the rock, than with the 
face of man, are apt to attach hard features to all human affairs. 
The definition of friendship, by Aristotle, may have been instan- 

* See London Quarterly Review, 1831. 


ced in some cases betwixt man and wife, and a few pairs of other 
friends. But rarely are we permitted to observe it in private, and 
never in public bodies. That philosopher, as Diogenes Laertius 
relates, being asked, what is a friend 1 answered, one soul dwell- 
ing in TWO BODIES. 

§ 37. Love feels no load, and as it is universally needed, it is 
wisely ordained to be of easy attainment. It is the connecting 
chain between heaven and earth. A principle felt by the dwell- 
ers in heaven above and earth below, in common. What are the 
causes of joy above, at repentance of sin — what of blessings dis- 
pensed to mortal man, but love ! It has been said, and may be 
said again, that love overcame the gods, or else they would not 
have noticed man. Self-love has been denominated the spring 
of action. But it sometimes shews itself by not acting, but by 
forbearing to act. As when a man denies the loan of money to 
a friend, for fear that it may mar their friendship, by his having 
to enforce its payment. Self-love, again, may deter a man from 
attempting to grow rich, for fear of those casualties and disasters 
which produce poverty. And which, when it is contrasted with 
former riches, make it doubly insupportable. It is those who 
climb high trees, who break their necks if they fall. And it is 
those that are highly praised, who are liable to be most vociferous- 
ly censured. 

§ 38. But the decay of reputation, may be owing to its never 
having been deserved at all. 

Wit, genius, and judgment, are seldom found to exist in the 
same person at the same time. As the last becomes more matur- 
ed, the former decay. And as these may have been the sole 
causes of a man's ever having had popularity, he is liable to lose 
his reputation, when he most deserves it. 

When a general has acquired fame by his valor, he may lose it 
by his discretion, its better part, as Falstaff said. 

Few men are apt to confess that they have achieved but little, 
because they belong to a race to whom but little power is given. 
They are much more willing to adduce their want of diligence, 
or the superiority of their feelings to the subject in question, than 
to appeal to the imbecility of their natures. 


Some men talk as though they could enter into competit 
with Providence itself, were they only to exert themselves. 

§ 39. When we view a new and unheard of custom, which 
has antiquity to boast in its favor, many are apt to conclude that 
it must originally have been founded in wisdom, although they can 
discern neither wisdom nor utility in it now. But when the su- 
perabundance of folly, and the scarcity of wisdom are consider- 
ed, it is ten to one, that such a conclusion is not a mistake. 

Who in reading his Bible, will be able to find many of the rites 
and practices of the Roman Catholics 1 And who would sur- 
mise that dancing was one mode of worship 1 And yet it is a 
principal one among the Shakers. And long were we in doubt 
from what part of the Bible it could possibly be, or have been 
derived. But Ave have since learned, that they refer to David, as 
having danced before the ark, and that the child leaped in the 
womb of Elizabeth at the salutation of Mary. 

§ 40. It is not a little remarkable, that among the American 
savages, superstition was originally engrafted upon medicine, and 
not upon religion. For some of them had nothing at all of the 
latter, nor no ideas of the Divinity, nor no anxiety about a future 
state. But they all had an extreme anxiety about their bodily 
health, and the removal of their diseases by remedies. Dancing 
and gaming were among the latter. The exercise incurred in the 
former, may sometimes no doubt, in cases such as rheumatism, 
and in colds, be useful. But the superstition consisted in the 
physician's dancing, in such cases as his patient was not able to 
endure the exercise himself. 

As to gaming it serves to amuse the mind, to keep the spirits 
from sinking, and to take off in a measure the fear of death, 
which is always prejudicial in sickness. 

In fevers, both dancing and gaming are bad, but in hypochon- 
drical complaints and madness, they are of utility. And we 
learn from the excellent and observing Dr. Rush, that a case of 
insanity was cured by playing at cards. 

Those savages who had an idea of gods, supposed that their 

wrath was manifested in sickness. Hence, their physicians, or 



medical conjurers, prescribed gaming as a means of appeasing 
their anger, and of restoring health. 

§ 41. From the mouth of the St. Lawrence, to the confines 
of Florida, were the least traces of civilization, and the most 
striking marks of barbarism. 

In Florida itself, contrary to the regions north, there was some- 
thing like the semblance of a government. The authority of 
their sachems being not only permanent, but hereditary. In the 
former vast region, they had no tamed animals, not even dogs. 

The Arab had his camel, the Tartar his mare, the Laplander 
his rein-deer, and even in Kamschatka, the savage had trained his 
dog to labor. 

That part of America in which Canada and the United States 
are situated, with the exception of Florida and the Natches, was 
the most barbarous part of the New World. ISew Holland, how- 
ever, is equally destitute of every thing but a similar state of bar- 
barism, and even more so. For in that vast region there are no 
traces of cultivation.* Whilst in the former the Indians did plant 
and cultivate a little corn. 

The two greatest means of power, comfort, and civilization, 
were entirely lacking : — The use of metals, and dominion over 
animals. West of the Mississippi, and south of its mouth, there 
may have been more marks of civilization. But in no part of the 
New World was either milk or iron known. And anions' some 
tribes, contrary it is thought, to all other savages, they did not. 
even know the use of the bow and arrow. 

The country was thinly inhabited, the aged were sometimes 
put to death when provisions were scarce, and they unable to 
assist in procuring game. Infants sometimes shared the same 

Pity and thankfulness were unknown. As the savage never 
gave away what he wanted himself, he did not thank any one for 
a gift, thinking that it would not have been given, if its owner 
wanted it himself. Like wild brute beasts, they had neither ten- 
derness nor sympathy. These, even our domestic animals, and 

* A late account, however, controverts this. 


neat stock, do manifest some tokens of. They were therefore 
inferior to tamed and tutored animals, to the dog and horse, in 
these respects. 

The Spaniards viewed and treated the Indians, like other ani- 
mals, enslaving, plundering, or killing them, as they saw fit. It 
required a papal bull, to teach them that they were not an inferi- 
or race. Until this was issued, they appear to have viewed them 
as the Hebrews did the native inhabitants of Canaan, doomed to 
destruction, and only made to be extirpated. 

The savage character is that of harshness in all respects. 
Their women were their abject, ill-treated, over- worked slaves. 
They had no lap-dogs, no favorite cats, no pet squirrels, birds nor 
monkeys. The impulses of moroseness, the feelings of barbar- 
ous independence, revenge, and the absolute necessity of provi- 
ding food, were their incitements to action. No excursions for 
amusement, no conversation for improvement, no place of tuition 
or instruction for youth, was known among them. They were 
only talkative when drunken. When they had sufficient food, 
they would sit whole days without moving or speaking, singing or 
dancing. If they had any system of education, it was the incul- 
cation of fortitude. Schools, in which the art of suffering was 
taught to be endured, without wincing or complaining. But even 
this kind of learning, was private and voluntary, and learned by 
the young barbarians without a teacher. 

We are told by Dr. Robertson, that a girl and a boy would 
bind their naked arms together, and put a coal of live fire so as 
to lie on both. They would then watch each other, and suffering 
stand and endure the pain, and vie, one with the other, which 
should first complain, or attempt to shake it off. 

As the savages made no excursions except for war or food, they 
supposed when the Spaniards invaded them, that they did it to 
procure food for themselves, and that their own country had fail- 
ed to support them. 

It has been said, that the Mexicans had forebodings of an in- 
vasion of their territory ; and that when the Spaniards landed, it 
threw Montezuma and his subjects into a terrible consternation. 
Our understandings, our systems, our knowledge, are tried with 
mysterious events, in the occurrences of national, foreign and 


domestic phenomena. But this is no more wonderful, than that 
we are tried by mysterious doctrines, and unaccountable ordinan- 
ces. The Israelites were commanded to extirpate, with fire and 
sword, the natives of Palestine, both male and female, old and 
young. But we see just such indiscriminate destruction take 
place in wars, famines, inundations, and earthquakes, and ship- 
wrecks ; so that the mysteries of command and of dispensation, 
are alike inscrutable. 

From what we have learned of the savages of the northern 
parts of the New World, they were the most savage of all the 
savage races ; so that other savages were, when compared with 
them, comparatively civilized. 

That our country, our heroes of the revolution, our independ- 
ence, owe something to the aboriginals, by making the first su- 
tlers wary, acute, watchful and hardy, is obvious. Washington's 
first cimpaigns, were against this monstrous race. It is thus that 
physical evil, produces moral good. 

That most elevated of all the virtues, Charity, could not be 
exercised, was there no want in the world. Were none poor, 
there would be no chance to give ; there would be none to receive; 
there would be nothing culpable in withholding ; there would be 
no fault in breaking the command, for it could not be kept. 

And what were reason, judgment, imagination, memory, and 
the all pervading passion of self preservation, bestowed for, except 
to qualify the human race, the better to avoid, the better to resist, 
the better to overcome evil I If then there was no evil, the powers 
of man would be useless ; his arts, his arms, his skill, his pro- 
fessional knowledge, would have been made in vain. He would 
not dig in mines, and in mountains for gold, had it not the power 
of removing the evils of poverty. He would not build the forge, 
melt the ore, and laboriously produce iron, and steel, was there 
not the evils before him, of bushes, and thorns, and forests, to 
clear, and of a stubborn soil to break. 

The distaff and the loom owe their invention to the evils of 
cold, damp, and nakedness. One part of our own country owes 
its inhabitants to the persecution of the Puritans, another part of 
it to that of the Catholics, and a third to that of the Quakers. 
Persecution is an evil, but it has had good effects in these few 



§ 1. The knowledge of truth, in ancient times, was a pre- 
rogative of priests, or princes, or prophets. And in times more 
modern, it was held in chains, by popes and prelates. 

Ancient history consists in a great deal said about a few men 
at most. Often one man is the hero of a lon£ detail. Distinc- 
tion not being confined to worth or talent, it flew in the air, like 
the sea-gull over the golden mines of Peru, to alight on sand or 

The Jewish nation, to the time of the introduction of Chris- 
tianity, had the records of their race, for a little more than four 
thousand years. And still how few the names of their eminent 
men ! Those who were men of genius, however, stood on the 
very summit of elevation. And will so forever stand in relation 
to religion. But that nation had made little progress in the arts 
and sciences. 

Ever since the advent of the new dispensation, the number of 
noted names has rapidly increased. The system in itself in all 
its features, religious and civil, is strikingly republican, and ought 
to be held in the highest estimation by every lover of liberty and 
religion. But to become the sun of a system, little or great, has 
charms for the moderns, as it had for the ancients. And ambi- 
tion has now a glorious career marked out. For nations to whom 


the riches and honors of this world are denied, may like the Scots, 
believe that they can boast of spiritual treasures, more pure, more 
genuine, and more overflowing, than any nation under the whole 
heaven. Or like the Romanists, they may think that the head of 
their church, is the head of all the churches on earth. Or like 
the Episcopalian, they may deem their king the defender of the 
faith, and above the pope himself. Whilst the meek and unas- 
piring Quaker, has a full assurance, that by his abjuring war, 
and following peace with all men, he alone imitates the founder 
of true religion. 

Men's views of things are the result of their knowledge and 
understanding. But time and chance happen to all men. Pas- 
sions are the gales of the moral world, and like a gale at sea, 
may drive the most correct and accurate mariner from his course. 

Love and aversion, avarice and ambition, bigotry and supersti- 
tion, courage and cowardice, riches and poverty, luck, good or 
bad, friends sincere or treacherous, make men act differently, 
who may be upon an exact level as to talents. Nay, they make 
the same man's course very discrepant at different times, although 
to others his situation may seem identical. 

Office-seeking, and seeking for golden opinions from all sorts 
of people, will turn a man into a monkey, and spaniel his course 
of conduct. A man never elevates himself by levity or servility. 

The road through the mighty main, and through the moral 
world, must be in part at least, laid out by our own soundings. 
Old remarks, like old charts, may only mislead the navigator. If 
we lean on others, we fall when they fall. But if they stand, we 
may not stand, for the reason that it is in their power at any time 
to push us down. 

Old charts, like old landmarks, should however, never be 
touched when correct. Nor can devious paths, which lead from 
that which is strait and narrow, be even entered into with safety. 
It is true that for such deviations we have great examples, but still 
not the greatest of all. 

Julius Caesar, would admit no deviation from the line of recti- 
tude in common men, or on common occasions. Yet, when an 
aspiring, ambitious man, had a crown in view, he would allow of 
his breaking this salutary rule. And all great commanders of 


armies, in times remote and modern, would deceive and tell false- 
hoods, or employ others to tell them to an enemy. But under 
the new dispensation, the exceptions to integrity cannot have any 
place at all. As he that would be great, is to be the minister, 
which word in the original signifies a servant. 

Those men who have been the greatest of all, or whom the 
world has so esteemed to be, have, like comets, appeared at great 
distances apart, and like those portentous messengers, have ever 
moved in eccentric orbits. Their course, their exit, and their 
entrance, has been incalculable. Not Wellington himself could 
calculate the rapidity of Napoleon, as he approached for the battle 
of Waterloo, else had not the British general been at a ball at 
the time. They neither love nor hate, nor reward nor punish, 
after the manner of common men. Their violence and their 
gentleness, their seriousness and their merriment, their business 
and their diversions, are all peculiar. Their orbits are indefinite 
and indefinable. Their perihelion and aphelion, like that of the 
comet, cannot be computed. Their cast of character, their mode 
of expression, the ideas which they receive, and the expressions 
which they convey, all vary from those of other mortals. Mas- 
tering great events, great on great occasions, they are too much 
feared to be hated, and too powerful to be despised. Such na- 
tures are only natural when they command and tne world obeys . 
Whilst they are in the world, let their distance be never so great, 
the timid and contemplative feel serious and nervous, and in their 
presence, even the bold and courageous, breathe with difficulty. 
The thunder that rolls over head, the lightning that flashes, the 
flame that consumes, the bellowing volcano, and the bursting 
earthquake, and the devastating hurricane, are their only com- 
petitors in causing perturbation, unless we add the roaring lion, 
and the coiling rattlesnake. Their souls are like the flash that 
descends from the cloud ; their nerves like the rod of iron which 
conducts it to the earth. The apportioning of equal misery to 
all, is the full amount of their justice ; the fire and the sword, the 
meed of their mercy. 

These things argue strongly and powerfully against wars un- 
dertaken from ambitious motives, and for conquest, or from any 
motives except those of self defence. And there is another 


source of a nature still higher, and of an authority more para- 
mount and decisive, to which we might refer, were this the place 
to enlarge upon the subject. 

The word world is a contraction of wear-old. Still this world, 
this old world, is always new : for its face is always presenting 
new appearances. Seasons change, and nature is inconstant, and 
does not always change them alike. In this respect the worlds 
physical and moral agree. Both are continually presenting new 
features. Lord Bacon thought, that were it not for the fixed 
stars, all creation would be in a state of chaos. These keep the 
system of the universe from running wild. Those simple and 
beautiful principles, gravitation and attraction, keep the rolling 
globe from rolling out of its place. And compel the pleiades, 
and northern bear, to maintain their constant course. 

§ 2. The anatomical structure of the human race, is surpri- 
singly regular, and has been in all ages. The Egyptian mummy, 
perhaps of antediluvian age, presents the same bony structure, as 
that of the savage of the new world. The bones of the head, 
the vertebrce of the back, with their irregular shape and spinous 
processes, the atlas of the neck, the little anvil and stirrup and 
mallet of the ear, the lightning shaped sutures of the skull, the 
eight little bones of the wrist, and the whole number, two hundred 
and forty-eight bones of the whole body, have ever been found, 
when examined, in surprising uniformity. No little foramina or 
hole, and holes are numerous, and irregular in shape and size, is 
omitted, with its little irregularities, through the bones of the 
whole body. This regularity is also extended to the soft parts. 
To the viscera, to the number of nerves, to the principal arteries, 
and to the color of the blood and bile, which in health, never fail 
of being the same, whether the subject be black or white. 

Reason would have taught us, that as the structure of man is 
as uniform as that of the heavenly bodies, that he might have en- 
dured as long. And that it would have been easier for nature to 
have kept the same being in life and motion, than to have stop- 
ped his course, and ended his career by death, and replenished 
the world with new and infant forms of the same mould and or- 
ganization. But experience and observation teach the reverse of 


this theory. It is these, therefore, that teach the great lesson of 
mortality, especially to those to whom revelation is unknown. 
The infant and the animal have no idea of their own liability to 

The bones are the fixtures of the animal frame. The soft parts 
turn to dust in about four years after burial, in common soils. 
Some soils, from extreme aridity, however, may preserve the flesh 
for an indefinite period. The traveller in the desert sands of 
Egypt, Arabia, and Lybia, who meets his death and burial in a 
sand flood, may remain for centuries with his frame shrivelled, 
but not turned to dust. 

Ice will preserve bodies forever, if it does not thaw. Animal 
petrifactions are as enduring as the mountain of Ararat. 

Life is motion, and total rest, the rest of the heart and lungs, is 
death. Could art ensure flexibility, it might prolong motion, and 
modern men might breathe as long as did Adam and Methuselah. 
Keeping the joints of a petrified man limber, as well as petrifying 
him by art, are modern discoveries, by an Italian. Can it ever be 
extended to the heart, cartilages of the ribs and breast 1 And if 
so, the next step in keeping man alive, and rendering his, life long 
as that of a tree, would be to discover some means of keeping his 
blood from coagulating, and of keeping his heart irritable, so as 
to be sensible of the stimulus of the blood. Paracelsus entertain- 
ed the notion that he could render man immortal, but he did not 
himself arrive to old age. His elixir of immortality failed, but 
he was the inventor of calomel, which has removed more of hu- 
man maladies than any other remedy except opium. 

What the Jews say about a certain bone in the body which they 
call the luz, is fictitious. • At any rate what they say about its lo- 
cation is incorrect. This bone they tell us is incorruptible and 
imperishable. And that at the last day, God will make use of it 
as a renewal to life, and a means of restoration at the resurrec- 
tion. In fact they pretend that the body will grow from it, as a 
plant grows from a seed. This bone they place between the last 
vertebrae of the loins, and the os sacrum. But it so happens that 
these two bones join,* and that no intervening bone is found be- 

* Except a thin cartilage between them. 



twixt them. Every tyro in anatomy knows this, and the Jews 
now pretend that this miraculous relic, is another bone, which is 
the last of all in the vertebral column, and which is called the os 
coxygis. But there is no bone of the spine but what is as per- 
ishable as many other bones. The teeth are the most durable of 
all the bony structures. They are bony in their interior, but their 
outward surface is covered with an enamel which prevents their 
decay. These survive all other parts of the body, and remain 
when all the fleshy and bony parts are crumbled to fragments and 
dust. Fleshy parts sometimes become bony. The present wri- 
ter has opened the body of a gentleman who died with dropsy of 
the lungs, and found the great artery, or aorta, turned to bone at 
its root, where it springs from the heart. There were nine pints 
of water in the cavity of his thorax, which is that cavity which 
contains the heart and lungs. The lower part of the right lobe 
of this gentleman's lungs was turned to liver, or in technical lan- 
guage, hepatized. He died suddenly. The day before his death 
he came after medicine to me at my own house, a distance of a 
mile and a half, alone in his carriage. 

This turning of fleshy parts to bone, occurs in other cases, and 
in other parts of the body, and sometimes without any disease or 
detriment. Little bones sometimes form, called sesamoid bones, 
because they resemble seeds, and some have supposed that one of 
these was the luz of the Jews. 

§ 3. In the secondary strata of rocks, three thousand species 
of fossil animals have been found, not one of which is now 
known to exist upon the globe. Consequently, man is not one of 
them. A fossil or petrified human skeleton has been extremely 
rare. Geology, therefore, teaches that other animals preceded 
man in the creation. However this may be, geologically, Ave find 
it so scripturally. The fossil and petrified remains of man, have 
not been entirely lacking, however ; one having been found in 
Guadaloupe. And the body of a petrified Indian was found in 
digging to lay the foundations of the city of Quebec. 

"We read in the Bible that there were giants in the earth, and 
some late geological facts confirm this truth, by the discovery of 
their remains. 


The Journal of Madrid, the Athenee, coniains a letter descri- 
bing an enormous petrifaction, which was discovered by the work- 
men in digging the canal of Sopena. A rock was found about 
eight feet below the surface of the earth. And at the distance of 
eighteen feet below this rock, and twenty-six beneath the earth's 
surface, amidst argillaceous earth, was found a body in a state of 
petrifaction, the bones of which resembled whitish stone. This 
body was upwards of eighteen feet long, the head two feet broad, 
and the breadth of the chest three feet !* 

A physician and surgeon examined this body, and found it to 
be a genuine petrified man, or rather giant. 

§ 4. M. Cuvier, of Paris, was the greatest practical geologist 
which the world has ever produced. From him we learn that 
there are occasionally found in the earth, to the greatest depth to 
which it has been penetrated, the remains of marine animals. 
And they are also found upon the highest mountains. To ac- 
count for the latter, he supposes that the bottom of the sea must 
have been suddenly elevated, nay, to use his own expression, in- 
stantaneously so. But what he thinks more astonishing, and 
quite certain is, that living creatures have not always existed on 
the earth, which is agreeable to sacred history. Some of the 
summits of the highest mountains are raised however, above the 
shells which lie scattered high up upon them. But these summits, 
he supposes to have been thrown up out of water. We must 
conjecture then, that this was done by volcanic fire, which when it 
had thrown up the sea bottom thus high, destroyed all animal or- 
ganization, and that the mass was calcined, or crystalized, so that 
no organic exuviae can be traced. Different strata, some inclined, 
and some horizontal, with animal remains in each, but of differ- 
ent kinds, go to prove that such sudden and tremendous catastro- 
phes, have occurred at periods distant, different and distinct. 
That they were very far apart, is evident from the animal remains 
being unlike each other, and also from the dissimilarity of the 
strata themselves. A new stratum was thrown up above an old 

* History sacred and profane, agree that there were giants in the earth. And 
we are told of Scipio Africanus the younger, that in Spain he slew a man of 
gigantic stature who was a Spaniard ! 


one, and settled down upon it, and became inhabited by animals. 
How often this was done, geology, which is a science compara- 
tively new, has not yet taught us. Nor from what depths these 
strata were forced up, can the geologist decided But M. Cuvier 
thinks it probable, that the whole crust of the globe has been 
moved and overturned, to a great depth, and that the early com- 
motions extended deeper and more extensively, than the later 
ones. That the fossil remains which are now found at immense 
depths in the earth, must, if they be of land animals, once have 
lived on the earth's surface, and if of sea animals, must have in- 
habited the sea-bottom, is abundantly evident. The remains of 
what is called the Inguadon, are found at the depth of a thousand 
feet from the earth's surface. Seventy feet is its length, ten feet 
its height, and fifteen feet its girth. It is found in a sand-stone 
rock, and this rock is composed of, or incorporated with, vegeta- 
ble matters, shells and fish. And as Professor Silliman observes, 
the man who is capable of believing that this creature was form- 
ed there, is capable of believing any thing, with or without proof. 
It must have once lived and breathed, and moved its hulk like 
carcass upon this our rolling globe.* 

It is supposed to have been an animal of the lizard kind, its 
shape being like .that species of animal. The giant, of eighteen 
feet in height, would have been but a single mouthful for this 
seventy feet monster. Which, however, the mammoth might 
have destroyed, by a single thrust of its tusks, with his giant din- 
ner within its capacious maw. But should we inquire how such 
monsters lived, and upon what they fed, and how and why they 
became extinct, we should find no one to answer us. Nor as to 
why they were created at all. 

We have seen that the surface of the world has frequently 
changed, and that its different surfaces produced different races 
of animals, or at least supported them. Geologists have not been 
able to form any plausible theory, to account for the phenomena 

* The head of the most colossal creature of which any indications have ever 
been found, was lately dug up at Rhenish Hesse, in Germany. It measured 
six feet in length, by three feet and a half in breadth. A humeral bone six feet 
long was found near it, weighing two hundred pounds. They were twenty- 
eight feet below the surface. 


of the earth, either by water, by fire, or by hurricanes, nor by all 
combined. Nor will any known chemical agency help them out 
of their dilemma. We must help them a little ourselves, by 
supposing these immense lacertse, in droves as numerous as ants, 
helped to raise the crust of the earth, to throw up hills, and to 
elevate mountains, by their operations in the sea. Amphibious 
by nature, when they found no land, or an insufficient quantity of 
it, we may conjecture, that they raised the sea-bottom into emi- 
nences, reaching above the surface of the waters. And that the 
sands thus elevated were in a course of time immens ?, some of 
it crystalized into granite rocks. And then we may call in the 
aid of moles, and of ants, large in proportion, as is the inguadon 
to the little lizard, to assist in accounting for the earth's other in- 
equalities. And thus go on, and attribute mountains, and valleys, 
and caves, whose phenomena cannot be imputed to fire and water, 
to the agency of animals and insects, of inguadon and mammoth, 
dimensions at least comparatively. 

§ 5. Conclusions have been too hastily drawn upon some 
geological subjects. We must wait for more facts. Inductive 
philosophy should descend from generals to particulars, instead 
of reversing this method, and still continuing the name. Man 
has been supposed to be of modern origin. But we read that 
there were giants in the earth, of whose antiquity we have no 
precise account. And that the remains of Goliah's, and of the 
sons of Anak, or the similitudes of their race, are occasionally 
found in a fossil state, must be admitted. Of one instance of this 
kind, we have the best testimonials before us, even the statement 
under oath, of a respectable and credible eye witness, Capt. 
James Allen. 

In the spring of 1807, Capt. Allen was master of the ship Ju- 
piter, of Philadelphia, on a voyage up the Mediterranean. In 
the month of May of that year, he lay a considerable time at the 
port of Girgenti, the ancient Agrigentum, in the island of Sicily. 
Its situation is about twenty leagues from Palermo, and sixty 
leagues south-west of Mount iEtna. Whilst there, he was in- 
formed that some human skeletons, of vast size, had * been dug 
from the ground about three miles distant. 



Digging into the earth to obtain sulphur, is a common employ- 
ment of the people of the island of Sicily, and they had here dug 
to the depth of one hundred and seventy feet ! when they came 
to a marble wall, adorned with hieroglyphics. When they were 
attempting to remove a part of this wall, it fell into a hollow place 
or cell, upon two marble coffins, which contained the gigantic 
bones. The falling of the wall so deranged the place, that it 
could not be told whether it was erected for a place of sepulture, 
or whether it was a part of some building of another kind. And 
although one of the skeletons was much broken by the accident, 
very happily the other was entire, except the loss of a small part 
of one of the bones of the leg. 

Capt. Allen placed the bones of the most perfect skeleton in 
their proper position, and found the skeleton to be eleven feet and 
four inches in length, Italian measure, which is equal to about ten 
and a half feet English ! Capt. Allen descended to the bottom 
of this deep excavation, and carefully examined the hieroglyphics, 
which he says were engraved in the most curious manner, on the 
wall. The boxes or coffins, were also ornamented with hierogly- 
phics. A friend of Capt. Allen, Mr. Backus, was induced tore- 
quest Capt. Allen to make oath to these facts, for the satisfaction 
of those who might see the account, and who were strangers to 
his character. His character and credibility being such, that 


where he is known, that his naked certificate or assertion would 
be received as soon as his affidavit. Mr. Backus thought this ac- 
count important, as a confirmation of Scripture history.* 

What we have to regret is, that Capt. Allen did not take a copy 
of the hieroglyphics. A regret which we deem will meet with 
many responses. Capt. Allen tells us that the head of the skele- 
ton, including the skull and jaws, were about the dimensions of a 
two gallon pail or bucket. The diameter of the thigh bone, he 
supposed to be about four English inches. The marble blocks 
and slabs of this subterranean wall, so curiously ornamented with 
hieroglyphics, might probably now be obtained for the inspection 
of the scientific and the curious, by a vessel visiting Girgenti. 

The earth through which the workmen descended to these 
bones, was all made earth. It appeared to be composed of sea- 
mud, filled with the shells of oysters, scollops, and other sea 
shell-fish, all of which were of uncommon size. 

It is worthy of notice, that the Cvclops, a race of men of 
gigantic stature, were referred, by the ancients, to the very region 
where these bones were found : — the western parts of Sicily. 
But whence was the origin of one hundred and seventy feet of 
earth over these bones, their coffins, their tomb and the hierogly- 
phics 1 Surely there are no causes now in operation, unless they 
be the occasional eruption of volcanoes, which can be brought to 
.bear upon the subject. Unless, indeed, we make the world as 
many millions of years old, as we now make it centuries. And 
that the superincumbent deposit was not of the usual volcanic 
origin, is evident, for it was not lava, but earth and shells. And 
again, it was thirty leagues from Mount iEtna, which was the 
nearest volcano. And were we to bring in for aid, a transient 
eruption at the spot, why were not the marble walls, the coffins 
and the bones thrown out of their places, and ruined ? The 
subject is certainly one which has its difficulties, but are they in- 
surmountable ] I think not. 

We have only to suppose that a submarine volcano broke out 
near this part of Sicily, at some remote period, which threw on to 
the island this immense superstratum of mud and shells, of one 

* See Med. Rep. Hex. iii. Vol. 3, pa. 14. 



hundred and seventy feet in thickness. Vesuvius sometimes 
throws out mud in modern times, without vitrifying it, or turning 
it into proper lava, or even soil. 

And of the fact that volcanos may break out beneath the sea, 
however mysterious, we have abundant proof, and shall presently 
give an instance. But we have, in this case, to infer that if an^ 
other island was thrown up near to Sicily, or if an addition to the 
latter was made, that it afterwards sunk, but left the strata over 
this ancient tomb, as a memorial of the catastrophe. 

§ 6. In the instance in which we are about to give, the island 
or shoal that was thrown up, afterwards sank, and disappeared. 
It was about half a league, or two miles from the shore. Had it 
been nearer, some of the volcanic matter might have been thrown 
on to the island of St. Michaels, near which it happened, and 
thus have remained as a memorial of the event. 

The occurrence of this submarine volcano, took place in 1811, 
in the month of January. It was preceded by earthquakes, and 
on the 31st of that month, smoke and flames were seen issuing 
from the sea, and as one of the witnesses and writers expresses 
it, a most awful and tremendous explosion of smoke and flame 
issued from the watery element. 

Along with the smoke, and fire, and flame, the same writer says, 
issued cinders, ashes, and stones of immense size. Large quan- 


tities of dead fish, and some of them nearly roasted, and others 
as if boiled, floated on the surface, towards the shore. 

The wind was blowing a gale from the southward a part of the 
time, which carried the smoke over the land ; the sea was ex- 
ceedingly agitated, and the surf broke on shore with frightful 
violence, even to the 22d of February. 

All the terrors of the phenomenon, which excessively terrified 
and dismayed the inhabitants, did not last the whole time, but 
smoke and flames were seen to issue from the spot, the 17th of the 
succeeding June. Vessels, when they first discovered it, at sea, 
supposed that a naval combat between two belligerent vessels was 
going on, and then, from the immensity of the smoke, that two 
fleets were engaged. 

It is wonderful indeed, that the part of the ocean in which 
this volcanic eruption took place, was from seventy to eighty 
fathoms deep. This was asserted by fishermen, and at first hard- 
ly credited, but afterwards, Capt. Thomas, of the ship Otis, from 
Lisbon to New- York, spoke an English armed brig, that had for 
a considerable time been stationed at St. Michaels, the comman- 
der of which had sounded, not a great while before, the very spot 
whence the eruption proceeded, and found the true depths, from 
seventy to eighty fathoms. 

Inflammable air, when it issues from water, and comes in con- 
tact with the atmosphere, will take fire and burn spontaneously. 
But the smoke, the boiling of the sea, and the throwing up of 
large stones, together with cinders and ashes, must be referred to 
a fire of bitumen, sulphur, and other combustibles beneath the sea 
bottom, which produced steam. This can only account for the 
first stages of the phenomena, which occurred in January and 
February, and which are related in the letter of Mr. Hickling, to 
J. B. Dabney, Esq., the American Consul, and by Mr. Andrew 
Adam, of St. Michaels, in a letter to his brother in London. 

Afterwards, when this submarine volcano was seen in June, by 
Capt. Thomas, and by Mr. Henry Neil, who came to New- York 
in the same vessel, the throwing up of stones, ashes and cinders, 
appears to have subsided. And the flame, and hissing or roaring 
noise, which were described by Mr. Neil, to Dr. Mitchell, were 


caused by the burning of inflammable gas, when the gas arrived 
at the surface of the water. 

This process is imitated upon a small scale, artificially, by 
chemists, as we have witnessed ourselves. 

Capt. Farwell, who arrived at Boston, from St. Ubes, witnessed 
the phenomenon of smoke and the throwing up of large columns 
of water, the 18th of June, five months after the eruption first 

St. Michaels is one of the Azores, which are situated in lati- 
tude between thirty-six and forty, N. The Azores are also 
called the Western Isles. 

It is to be noticed that the throwing up of the inflammable air 
and carbonic matters, when seen in June, by Capt. Thomas and 
Mr. Neil, were not constant, but in intermitting pulses, of from 
five to twenty minutes apart. Capt. Thomas was in sight of the 
eruption for nearly twenty-four hours, and described the smoke, 
which was black, and the flames, as rising some hundreds of feet 
into the air.* 

§ 7. But in relation to giants and gigantic animals, we must 
not forget the bird whose claws, or toes, were eighteen inches 
long, as ascertained by the tracks, lately discovered by professor 
Hitchcock, on the banks of Connecticut river. 

Birds of the size which such feet would indicate, might fly to 
mountain heights, with tigers, and bears, and lions in their claws ! 
And thus we may account for petrifaction of animal bones, upon 
mountain crags, which quadrupeds could not reach, and in 
crevices which neither they, nor the bird itself, could enter. It 
being well known that when birds of prey feed, that they choose 
the highest objects to perch upon, from whence the bones of their 
victim may drop into holes and fissures below, or be found in 
piles where the highest trees stood, although these trees may have 
long since disappeared by the desolating hand of time. 

That there were clefts in some rocks, before they were rent at 
the crucifixion, we learn from Moses having been placed in one 
of them, to hide him from the divine presence, as the Lord pass- 
ed by.t 

* See Med. Rep. Hex. iii. Vol. 3, p. 96. 
t Gen. xxxiii, 22. 


111 relation to the bones of men and animals, we cannot but 
admire the height and depth of creating wisdom. Every little 
eminence, or depression, process, apophysis, bump, cavity, aceta- 
bulum, or foramen, or fissure, having in different classes of ani- 
mals, a different shape, and in the same class of animals, the same 

So that the class of animals, to which even the fragment of a 
bone belonged, could be determined by M. Cuvier. And he 
could thus determine whether that class of animals was in exist- 
ence now, or had disappeared from the face of the earth. 

Such a minute knowledge of comparative anatomy, was never 
known in the world before. And to it, the world is much indebt- 
ed ; for as M. Cuvier observes, skeletons are rarely found in a 
complete state. The bones being detached and distant, owing 
to different birds or beasts having fed upon the same carcass, and 
each one carrying off a different limb or bone to pick. Besides, 
the bones of some animals were broken by the powerful jaws and 
grinders of hyenas, in order to extract the marrow from them, 
and are only found in fragments ; whilst the decomposing hand 
of time, has detached the softer appendages of the same bone 
from itself. 

§ 8. But we need not resort to animals of monstrous growth, 
to the mammoth, which we have seen the skeleton of, and within 
the inclosure of whose ribs, thirteen men sat and dined. Or to 
the inguadon, of which we are told, by professor Silliman, as being 
seventy feet in length. We say that we need not resort entirely 
to these, and to other immense animals, for immense geological 
changes and structures. Although, they undoubtedly had a share 
in these changes, proportioned to the immensity of their size. 
We know that animals of sizes minute, have existed, and still 
exist, in such myriads as to give rise to structures immense. 

Coral islands and coral reefs are formed by little worms, or 
vermicles, vermes zoophyta. These creatures, each secreting the 
size of a sand or two of coral, and uniting the portions of their 
labor together, form new islands in the sea, and increase the 
dimensions of those islands already formed. 


The mariner has found, by the loss of his ship, the pernicious 
efforts of these little creatures. Ships strike and bilge, and are 
lost upon coral islands, on the way of the coral formation upwards 
out of the ocean, but not so far up as to be visible. And perhaps 
so far down, when the preceding navigator made his soundings, 
as not to have been reached — such an instance having been late- 
ly ascertained. And thus vessels are wrecked, where charts indi- 
cated no danger. Shallows, and shoals, and reefs exist, where 
none were formerly known, nor could have been known ; because 
they were not there, they did not exist. 

It seems to be the habit of these coral insects to vermiculate 
upwards, with their structures, from the ocean depths. But 
when they reach the surface they do not advance much, if any, 
above high water. Coral islands, therefore, if they have a soil, 
owe it to other causes — to the ordure of birds, roosting and feed- 
ing upon them — to sea weed, growing and being cast upon their 
shores and surface — and to the stranding of whales, sharks, and 
other monsters of the deep. And sometimes soil is carried in 
boats from one place where it can be procured, to rocky islands 
where it is lacking. 

Of this last process, the late Commodore Oliver H. Perry, a 
family relative of ours, referred the writer to examples in the Medi- 
terranean, which had fallen under his own immediate observation. 

§ 9. That the sea once covered all the land which is now dry, 
is very generally admitted by scientific men, and is universally 
admitted by geologists. 

It is agreeable to sacred history, that before the flood of Noah, 
water covered over the face of the whole earth. Moses, in the 
first chapter of the Bible, tells us, that God said, let the waters 
under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the 
dry appear. The word land, after dry, in our translation of the 
Bible, is put there by translators, and is known to every 
philologist, not to have any word answering to it, or synony- 
mous with it, in the original. 

There was, therefore, nothing dry in the universe, until the 
waters were gathered together, and then the dry appeared. The 
translators of our English Bible, have supposed it to have been 


dry land, and so they have rendered the dry, dry land, and very 
properly so, as we ourselves suppose ; we having full general 
confidence in the truth and verity of the forty-seven learned men 
who made the translation, by order of King James the first, of 
our present Bible. 

But upon a subject involving such vital considerations as the 
present, relative to which a professor in one of our theological 
seminaries, and a minister, has been accused by another profes- 
sor of promulgating principles fraught with atheism, we have 
deemed it our duty to be a little critical.* We hope not hyper- 
critical. And as the dry, a little further along, in the same chap- 
ter, is called Earth, and the gathering together of the waters Seas, 
we cannot, on the whole, object to the addition of the word land, 
made by those who translated the Bible. 

What we wish particularly to call attention to, is, that no land 
nor earth, nor nothing dry, was seen, until the waters were re- 
moved, or gathered together. 

§ 10. And in the next place, we wish to impress it on the 
mind of the geological reader, that although there is an account 
of the creation of the heavens and earth, in this first chapter of 
Genesis, yet that there is no account of the creation of water. 
And if he who reads the chapter, reads it with great care and 
attention, he must admit that something had been created pre- 
vious to the creation of what Moses relates in the first chapter of 
Genesis. This is an important point, as some geological fea- 
tures of the interior earth, cannot be accounted for, nor some of 
its external phenomena explained, by the account given by Mo- 
ses. Suppositions have therefore been made, one of which is, 
that the seven days were not diurnal days of twenty-four hours 
each, but that they were of much longer periods, and consisted of 
a thousand years each. 

But such a supposition cannot be made to agree with the Crea- 
tor's having rested on the seventh day, and constituted it the 
Jewish Sabbath. It would make the sabbath to occur only once 
in seven thousand years, and to last a thousand years when it 
did occur! 

* We here refer to Stewart of Andover, and Hitchcock of Amherst. 


Water, then, appears to have been created before the period at 
which Moses begins ; as it is mentioned in the first chapter of 
Genesis, without any mention being made of its creation in that 
chapter, or at that time, or at any other time. 

And as to the earth, atf its first elementary creation, or the crea- 
tion of its substance, it was without form and void. 

The act then, to which Moses refers, evidently seems to be, as 
to the earth, the reducing of it to form, and the clearing its surface 
of water, so that the dry might appear, and the fitting of it for 
a habitation of land animals, and man. This was done in the 
six diurnal days mentioned by Moses. 

Previous to this, we suppose that stones, mountains, and sili- 
cious particles existed, immersed in, or covered over with water. 
For of these, we read nothing about either having been created 
in the six days ; nor of water itself, as before observed, at any time. 

How many millions of ages, stones, mountains, gravel, the 
ores of metals, silex, sulphur, alumina, lime, magnesia, barytes, 
strontian, zincon, glucine, yttria, thonna, arsenic, saline substan- 
ces, and metals may have existed with water itself, we cannot 
decide, for the Bible does not. 

Of these, none of these, does Moses give us any account of 
their having been created in the six days. We know that many 
of these substances, however, are reckoned among the earths. 
But not one of them do we admit to be the earth to which Moses 
refers. And we would here limit the word earth, to the surface 
of the globe, to the soil or upper surface of the earth, in which 
trees, and plants, and seeds grow. 

This is the agricultural sense in which the term earth is used, and 
this we must allow to be the sense in which Moses used it. He 
not giving us any account of the creation of subterranean substan- 
ces, such as beds of coal, mines of salt, volcanoes, or fire, or wa- 
ter or air.* And that the deep interior of our planet is a burning 
fire, is now admitted by geologists ; for the deeper the earth has 
been penetrated, the higher it raises the thermometer, and the 
warmer the temperature grows. 

Indeed, about two hundred chimneys have been reckoned up, 
which emit the smoke, steam, cinders, lava, and ashes, from the 

* Unless air is indicated by the Spirit of God, moving on the waters. 



interior. These are volcanoes, which are now, or have been, in 
active operation, throughout the world, as chimnies to the globe. 

§11. What an immense work might the waters at Niagara falls 
be made to do. Machinery might be erected there, to bore and 
penetrate the earth to an unlimited extent, even down to its sub- 
teraneous fires ! ! There being water power sufficient for any 
imaginable purpose, which now roars away its time in idleness. 

We were more astonished at the immense quantity of water, 
than by the height, or any other phenomenon of the Falls, when 
we paid this wonder of the world a visit. 

The expense of such an undertaking would be less than that of 
one of Buonaparte's great campaigns, and harmless to human 

What an immense acquisition to the science of geology, and 
to human knowledge in general, mfrght be realized. 

Besides, we might anticipate that the precious minerals brought 
to light might go far to defray the cost, and even to enrich the 

Let America do a work which shall exceed all the wonders of 

the Old World, and draw down upon her the eyes of all nations. 

Machinery might be erected there, which with sufficient length 

and strength of cable and chain, might drag all the canal boats 

from the Hudson to Buffalo, and sea vessels from Montreal 


through lake Ontario, to Lewistown ; and by a canal around the 
falls to Buffalo, and into lake Erie itself. And also propel the 
cars on the railroads. 

§ 12. How are we to account for earthquakes, except we re- 
fer them to the action of internal fires 1 

We are puzzled with the query how fire can burn without air, 
but we do not know that this is the fact. Although, when volca- 
noes have burst out, and thrown up islands in the midst of the 
sea, we are at a loss to know how the atmospheric air found its 
way into the heart of the earth, when covered with water, and 
why the water did not extinguish the burning mass 1 

Our only resort is, in such a case, to conjecture that there is 
somehow and somewhere, a subterranean admission of air. 

When new volcanoes break out in the vicinity of old ones, we 
refer the descent of the air down the crater or chimney of the pre- 
vious one. 

As to water not extinguishing volcanoes which break out from 
beneath the ocean, the reason must be, that the intensity and im- 
mensity of the fire, decomposes the water, into oxygen and hy- 
drogen gases, which gases when ignited in contact, make the fire 
still hotter. No method being ever yet discovered, to produce a 
more intense heat, than by the ignition of these gases. 

We are told by the Baron Humboldt, that the vulcan Jurillo* 
which burst out and was formed on the 29th of September, 1759, 
in the night, was preceded by earthquakes, from the June before. 

The volcanic mount Jurillo rose one thousand six hundred and 
ninety-five feet higher than the old plain around its base. It 
bursting out in the midst of a plain, and rising thus high, in that 
short space. 

This volcano is forty-two leagues from any other volcano, 
thirty-six leagues from the sea coast, and sjx day's journey from 
the city of Mexico, the capital of New-Spa^* in which country 
the volcano is situated. 

A tract of land, as the Baron tells us, rose up, of from three to 
four miles square. Those who saw the catastrophe, told him that 
the flames issued forth for more than half a league square. Frag- 
ments of burning rock were thrown up to an immense height. 

* This volcano goes by another name in some authors. 


The softened surface of the earth boiled and swelled like the sea, 
when agitated by the winds. Two rivers precipitated themselves 
into the burning fiery chasm, but so far from allaying the fire, it 
burnt with greater violence, by decomposing the water, into oxy- 
gen and hydrogen gases. 

That water finds its way to the fires of Mount Vesuvius, seems 
proved by mud being sometimes thrown out at its crater, during an 

The rivers which the Baron Humboldt describes as falling into 
the fiery furnace of the vulcan Jurillo, at its formation, were 
probably small ones, and the quantity of water which they afford- 
ed was therefore the easier decomposed. But in cases of volca- 
noes breaking out from beneath the sea, we are astonished at their 
not being immediately quenched when they break through the 
crust of the sea-bottom. 

We must then suppose, either that the quantity of burning ma- 
terials is immense, or that the propelling power pushing the melt- 
ed lava upwards, prevents the ingress of the water. Or in the 
third place, that that portion of water admitted, is immediately 
extruded, or decomposed into the gases of hydrogen and oxygen, 
which are but fuel to the fire. 

§ 13. There have been many conjectural theories of the world, 
at different eras, and by men of genius. 

Whirton, who was a believer in revelation, believed the earth 
to have been formed from a comet. 

Leibnitz, supposed from the numerous appearances of fire 
and fusion that it presents, that the earth was once a sun, and hav- 
ing burnt out, it became the earth. 

Buffon, who makes all the heavenly bodies fragments broken 
off from the sun, would include the world also in the number. 

Wideburg, supposes the earth to have been originally a spot 
on the sun. 

Professor Hitchcock, supposes that granite is both the high- 
est and the lowest of all the rocks, and that no other kind of rock 
is found either above it or below it. And that the granite moun- 
tains were thrown up by the power of fire, in a fused state, and 
crystalized on the surface of the earth. 


But to this theory of Hitchcock some pretty plausible objections 
present themselves. As first, that granite is found crystalized, 
deep in the earth. And second, that many granite mountains, 
and indeed, we believe by far the greatest number, have no craters, 
and therefore cannot be identified as of volcanic origin. And 
third, that stones falling from the heavens, or meteoric stones are 
not granite. 

Professor Hitchcock thinks that all rocks are the result of 
secondary causes, and of such causes as are now in existence. 
We cannot coincide with this opinion. But believe that granite 
formed a principal part of the nucleus of the globe, before the 
earthy surface was created upon it for the production of plants, 
and for the habitation of animals. 

But all the theories adduced, give us no account of the forma- 
tion of water, nor no one of them, nor the Bible itself. 

We believe that seas and oceans were formed before the moun- 
tainous and rocky nucleus of the globe ; and that the latter was 
precipitated in a state of fusion, or extreme heat, into the watery 
abyss below. And thus we account for the cracks, fissures, 
broken, sharp and angular points, and fragments of rocks, stones 
and gravel, so universally conspicuous in granitic tracts of 
country. * 

No one can be consistent and reasonable, and still entertain the 
opinion, that the earth is either a sun burnt out, or an extinguish- 
ed comet, or a piece broken off from the sun, and yet suppose 
that it had seas upon its surface, when it was precipitated into its 
present location. 

§ 14. We know of no substances ever having fallen far from 
above except rocky ones. And there have been so many of these, 
and their descent from above has been so well authenticated, that 
no one now calls in question the fact of meteoric, or lunar stones 
falling to the earth. Two instances of this kind have occurred 
in the state of Connecticut within the last thirty years. The im- 
age which the men of Ephesus worshipped, as mentioned in the 
Acts, because it fell down from Jupiter, probably had some help 
of the priests to shape, and form it into an image. But that the 
raw material might have fallen from above, in form of a meteoric 


* 99 

stone, the present state of our knowledge of similar events, will 
justify us in fully admitting. 

Some of these aerolites, have reached the earth whilst yet 
warm. And however involved in intricacy the particular spot 
may be from which they emanated, we incline to the opinion that 
the nucleus of the earth may have had the same original. 

Secondary limestone had its origin from animal exuviae ; from 
shells, bones, horns, and other animal recrements. Hence it 
abounds with petrified animals or parts of animals. 

We have ourselves examined a portion of the mass of stone 
which fell from the heavens in the town of Weston, in the state 
of Connecticut, in December, 1807.* And we have a list before 
us of meteoric stones having fallen, with the places and periods 
at which they fell ; which were as follows : At Ensisheim in 
1492, at Mort in 1750, at Aire in 1769, at Juliac in 1790, at 
Sienna in 1794, at Benares in 1798, at L'Aigle in 1803. And 
we may add, at Norwich, in Connecticut, in 1836 ; at St. Jer- 
maine in 1808 ; in Italy the same year. 

The chemical examination of these aerolites has discovered no 
new principles. Nothing has fallen with them from the heavens, 
which was not in, or upon the globe before. And this goes to 
confirm the hypothesis, that the nucleus of our orb, may have 
descended from the same source as these stones. 

We are aware that the experiments of MargrafF, Boyle and 
Boerhaave, detected a small quantity of earth in rain water. 
Which is not wonderful, when we consider that the waters of the 
earth ascend in vapors and water-spouts, and form clouds, which 
are precipitated in rains. 

But this theory cannot apply to the formation of meteoric 
stones, although such an attempt has been made by Dr. Mitchell. 
We consider them to have been little miniature worlds, like our 

* David B. Warden, Esq. Consul General of the U. S. at Paris, observes, 
that pieces of this stone weighed from six to one hundred pounds. He observ- 
ed that the sharp parts of it cut glass. He analysed it with much skill. 

The marks of recent fire, were considered by Professor Silliman as marking 
the character of this meteoric mass of stone. It was of a dark hue, with white 
streaks or veins, which Mr. Warden considered white iron. See M. R. for 
1810, p. 194. 


own, with fire and combustibles in their centre, which blew them 
up, and that the broken fragments fell upon our planet. 

The mass of stone at Ensisheim, in Germany, is called thunder 
stone ; its weight is said to be upwards of two hundred pounds. 
A piece of the mass was analyzed by Professor Barthold. It was 
composed of sulphur, iron, magnesia, alumine, lime, and silex. 
The iron and sulphur, were the smallest in quantity, and lime 
the largest. 

By its name it indicates that it fell in time of a thunder storm, 
or that a single clap, as in other instances, or a similar sound to 
thunder, accompanied its fall. The following instance is more 
recent, and was observed and recorded, with care and accuracy 
in France, at the time, April 26, 1803. It is given by C. Biot, 
member of the National Institute, in a letter to the French minis- 
ter of the Interior. Its authority is therefore indisputable. A 
fiery globe of brilliant splendor, was observed moving with great 
rapidity through the atmosphere. It was seen at Caen, Alencon, 
and a great many other places in the vicinity, but fell at L'Aigle. 
Some moments after it was first observed, there was heard at 
L'Aigle, and in the country round, for more than thirty leagues, in 
every direction, a violent explosion, which lasted five or six min- 
utes. At first there were three or four reports, like the firing of 
cannon. This was followed by a noise like the discharge of 
musketry. A dreadful rumbling succeeded, which might be com- 
pared to ah earthquake, or to the beating of a vast number of 
drums. The air was calm, and the sky serene at the time. But 
there was a small cloud, at a great elevation in the atmosphere, 
from which the noise seemed to proceed. -This cloud appeared to 
lie still, and not to move at the time of the phenomenon. It lay 
to the N. N. E. of the city of L'Aigle. This cloud was noticed in 
various places and hamlets around, as from it proceeded, besides 
the artillery reports, already mentioned, a hissing or whizzing 
noise, like that of a stone discharged from a sling. In the canton 
over which the cloud hovered, for about two leagues and a half 
in length, and for nearly a league in breadth, mineral masses fell, 
which resembled the meteoric stones which have fallen in other 
places. Not by any means so thick as to cover the Avhole surface 
of the earth, but at different distances apart. The stones fell 


with the hissing sound already mentioned. The district in which 
they fell was marked out by the stones, in something of an ellip- 
tical form. The greatest length or dimension of which, was from 
northwest to southeast. A direction in which all or most moun- 
tains run. 

The French writer describes the declination to have been of 
about twenty-two degrees. And what he thinks to have been a 
remarkable result is, that the direction which the meteor must 
have followed, is exactly that of the magnetic meridian. 

The largest stones fell first, which was obviously owing to their 
having been the heaviest. The largest of all these stones weigh- 
ed seventeen pounds and an half. The smallest which the writer 
saw, weighed about two gros, which he tells us is the thousandth 
part of the former.* All this happened on a bright day at about 
one o'clock in the afternoon. 

But a more extraordinary aerolite phenomenon occurred in 
another part of France, about five years afterwards. It would 
seem that France is particularly liable to hail storms, which some- 
times do great damage to the vineyards and growing products of 
the farmers. And in consequence, they have in that kingdom, 
insurance companies, which insure against damages done by 
hail ; which we never heard of elsewhere. The French therefore 
perhaps pay more attention to every thing relating to hail storms 
and hail stones, than the inhabitants of any other nation — which 
may account for the present discovery about to be noticed. 

At St. Germaine, a squall from the west was accompanied with 
thunder, lightning, rain, sleet and hail. The mean size of the 
hail stones exceeded that of hen's eggs. Seventy-five panes of 
glass in one house were broken in seven minutes, although a 
high row of trees sheltered the windows. Curiosity led to the 
collection of a parcel of these hail stones ; one of which appear- 
ing darker than the rest, it was broken open, and a porous brown- 
ish stone, of an irregular shape, measuring ten lines by six, was 
found inside of it. The surprise of the persons present was un- 
equalled. As these stones which were found in the hail stones, 
became dry, they lost their brownish color and became white, re- 

* About 105 grains. 


sembling a piece of chalk which had been rolled by the waters. 
More of these chalk stones were found in other hail stones, 
which were collected, and lodged with the magistrate of St. Ger- 
maine, in France, whilst in the state in which they fell ; that is, 
with the hail stone surrounding the chalk stone. The weight of 
one of these chalk stones was eighty-nine grains. The grain of 
the stones was very fine and tender. The raspings, like chalk, 
and carbonate of lime, effervesced with acids. These stones fell 
July 31, 1808, being Sunday. Others fell the same day at Rouen. 
It has been very justly remarked, that they had nothing in com- 
mon with other meteoric stones, which have fallen elsewhere, as 
in Germany, France, and America. All these latter bore marks 
of electric heat, or of volcanic fusion, or of a disrupting blast. 
In fact of fire in some form. 

We may here allude to the natural tendency which things have, 
of the same specific gravity, to find the same location. The at- 
tempt has been made to account for the carbonate of lime being 
found in hail stones, by supposing that the fine particles of the 
lime was in the water. That the water freezing, made the hail 
stone, and that the particles of lime in it, made the chalk stone, 
by settling and being compacted together. 

If this explanation is admissible, in this instance, it surely 
cannot be extended to other meteoric stones. For in the very 
next instance which we shall give, the stones fell from above, 
burning hot, and reached the earth in the same state. This hap- 
pened in Italy, within the limits of the ancient states of Parma, 
on the 19th of April, 1808. The sky was clear, except a few 
ash colored clouds at the time, and the weather serene. The in- 
habitants of several villages first heard two loud reports, like those 
of a cannon. These were followed by other reports, which those 
who heard them, compared to the thumping together of boxes. 
These thumping sounds were very near together, and lasted more 
than a minute. Then succeeded a sound of a duller and more 
indistinct kind, during which burning hot stones fell to the earth, 
and some of them penetrated its surface to the depth, as we are 
told, of several decimetres. 

The rapid fall of the stones produced a whistling sound, which 
those who heard it, compared to a stone whirled from a sling. 


The appearance of one of these stones picked up at Pieve, is de- 
scribed as that of an oblong square with the angles rounded off. 
Its surface being uneven and cavernous, but vitrified. Its color 
blackish brown. It struck fire with steel. The inside was ash 
colored, with small points of a blackish hue, and some small spots 
which were, or appeared to be, metallic. Of these metallic spots 
some were of a whitish yellow, and lamellar. Others were more 
compact, of a tin color, globular, and acted upon the magnetic 
needle. Indeed, the mass itself was magnetic. The weight of 
this stone was two Piedmont pounds. It was a compound of sili- 
cious earth fifty parts, oxyd of iron twenty-eight, magnesia nine- 
teen, oxyd of nickel two and a half, oxyd of manganese, one and 
a half, oxyd of chrome one, and of sulphur four, total one hun- 
dred and six. The several products of the analysis, weighing six 
parts more than the whole mass, that was subjected to experiment. 
This proves that much precision was used by Professor Guidotti, 
who performed the chemical operations. The small increase in 
weight was imputed, and no doubt correctly, to the addition of 
oxygen to the iron from the atmosphere, during the process. 

We do not know that the chemical analysis of any stone upon 
the earth's surface, or which has been dug from its bowels, pre- 
sents precisely the same results as this meteoric stone. Still all 
the products are well known as belonging to our planet, and it is 
as well known that the products of meteoric stones do not agree 
among themselves, in all cases. Mr. Guidotti, who was professor 
of chemistry at Parma, thought that these productions were form- 
ed in the atmosphere, from earthy and metallic substances, which 
are, as he supposed, incessantly floating there. But from whence 
then were derived the heat, and the loud cannon like reports 1 
These the professor leaves out of the question. Or at any rate, 
he leaves them out of his solution of the question. We incline to 
think that the phenomena of electricity must be called in, to ac- 
count for these. And that as some meteoric stones are inclosed 
in hail, whilst others come down to the earth " burning hot," that 
we must look to some source different from earthy and metallic 
particles rising from the earth, and floating in the air, for their 


Allowing that these stones were thrown from the moon or sun, 
in a volcanic eruption, the distance is too immensely great for 
them to reach the earth, and to retain the heat which*they imbibed 
there. Especially, as they would have to travel through a region 
of intense cold, on their way here. Their heat must therefore be 
accounted for in some other mode, if it could be proved that they 
came from the sun, moon or stars. And as electricity, or the fire 
and phenomena of lightning, are excited, as we suppose, by two 
different currents of air, or by two clouds pursuing opposite di- 
rections with rapidity, we must appeal to a similar source for the 
heat of meteoric stones, or to the burning of gases for it. 

The chemistry of the upper regions is as yet but imperfectly 
known. But we are inclined to think, that every operation of an 
igneous, gaseous, and electric kind, which art can produce, and 
many which it cannot, are produced by nature. 

The meeting of a stream of oxygen and hydrogen gases, being 
fired by an electric spark, would produce sufficient heat to vitrify 
stones. And these stones which fell in Parma, we are told, were 
vitrified upon their external surface. But the artillery sound 
which preceded the fall of these and of other aerolites, remains to 
be accounted for. We must recollect that those which we are 
now considering fell in fragments. Indeed, the title of the article 
from which we have drawn our information, is that of a shower 
of stones. And we are told that their surface was uneven and 
cavernous. We may then infer, that their internal cavities con- 
tained air, or water, or both. And that the heat, to which they 
were subjected, rarified the air, or turned the water to steam, and 
burst the mass into fragments, which would of course produce 
the sound. Upon this subject we have learned that stones have 
been picked up upon the surface of the earth, of a round form, 
and red sandstone color, which have been called natural granades. 
They having a cavity or hollow in the middle, and having been 
thrown on or into a fire, would burst and fly to pieces, with an 
explosion. Such stones have been found in Maryland. 
. But has nature any galvanic battery in her laboratory 1 If the 
voltaic fluid be the same as that of electricity, which we have the 
best authority for supposing, this question is already answered in 
the affirmative. 


By the operation of the galvanic battery, metals are so far vol- 
atilized as for their particles to float in air, by which a metallic 
atmosphere is formed. And that this analytic process is perform- 
ed by nature, seems conclusive to some, from meteoric stones 
having been found, consisting partly of iron. But perhaps we 
need not resort to the agency of either galvanism or electricity, in 
every instance, in order to produce a metallic atmosphere. As 
sailors have been salivated at sea, from sea-water having found 
admission to a large quantity of quicksilver, which formed a part 
of the cargo of the vessel, which they were on board. Every rat, 
mouse, and cock-roach was killed by it. And an apothecary in 
New York, accidentally produced a salivation in his wife, who 
was present when he was distilling a considerable quantity of 
mercury, in order to purify it. In these cases, the particles of 
this substance floated in the air, were inhaled into the lungs by 
inspiration, and thus it produced its specific effects upon the 

Those who hold the opinion that aerolites are formed from 
substances floating in the atmosphere, must resort to the hypothe- 
sis that iron, nickel, silex, sulphur, magnesia, and limestone, are 
first rendered volatile, and then synthetically formed into the 
ponderous stones which fall from above. And some respectable 
writers have held these ideas. I have not however, heard them 
attempt to account for the heat, light, and explosion, which their 
system would render it extremely difficult for them to do. 

§ 15. Those who have seen electric fire collected from the air 
by means of electric machines, and who from water, by decom- 
posing it, have seen its component parts produce an intense heat, 
will be the more easily able to account for meteors, fire-balls, and 
shooting stars. When these occur without any explosion, we 
presume that they are not, or are not usually connected with 

§ 16. The phenomenon of shooting stars, we have seen imi- 
tated upon a small scale, in Mr. Peale's Museum, at Philadel- 
phia. It was done by putting a small, thin, but not very thin, 
piece of iron upon a bit of charcoal, and placing them under two 

10 •# 



streams of gas, the one of oxygen, the other of hydrogen, the 
two streams coming together, and being lighted at their junction. 
Such an intense heat was thus produced as to, burn the iron into 
an immense multitude of beautiful sparks, which seemed to be 
emitted from the burning iron in a kind of regular order, or dia- 
mond shape of circumference. They danced about the room 
like shooting stars in the air. 

As we have seen that iron forms a part of meteoric stones, we 
would refer the origin of shooting stars to the burning of iron in 
the atmosphere, by the ignition of oxygen and hydrogen gases, in 
the upper or etherial regions. These shooting stars have been 
noticed on the 13th of November, in the years 1834, 5 and 6. 
But the first veritable account of the phenomenon, which we 
have seen, of their falling in immense numbers, as they did at the 
above periods, occurred in November, 1799. 

The account is given by Andrew Ellicot, Esq. as seen by him- 
self, on a voyage from New Orleans to Philadelphia. It is called 
an extraordinary flight of meteors, (commonly called shooting 
stars,) and is described as a phenomenon grand and awful, the 
whole heavens appearing as if illuminated with sky rockets, 
which disappeared only by the light of the sun, after day break. 
lie tells us that these meteors appeared as numerous as the stars, 
and that they flew in all possible directions, except from the earth, 


or rather from the sea, as he was at sea. Some of them descend- 
ed perpendicularly, over the vessel which he was in, so that he 
was in constant expectation of their falling among the crew on 
deck. It is said that this immensity of corruscations extended 
over a large portion of the West India Islands, and over a part 
of the continent.* 

Although the four preceding notices of falling stars, occurred 
in November, and the first three of them on the 13th of that 
month, yet it appears that a similar phenomenon appeared in 
April, 1803, and was observed in New Hampshire, Virginia, and 
North Carolina. In how many other places we have not been 
informed. Our information is derived from the New York Med- 
ical Repository, Vol. VI. A work which concentrates a great 
variety of valuable and highly interesting matter. 

It is represented as a very remarkable exhibition of meteors, or 
shooting stars, and as having occurred towards the end of April, 
and as continuing from one o'clock until after three o'clock in the 
morning. And that the light was so brilliant, a part of the time, 
that a person might have seen to have picked up a pin from the 
ground. The beholders in several places gave certificates of what 
they had witnessed, which seems to prove that the phenomenon 
was considered new, or at least rare, at that time, and not as now 
so common an occurrence, that it is looked for by some people, 
every year on the 13th of November. The present year, 1836, 
those who watched were at Cambridge, Mass. gratified with the 
sight that very night. In Connecticut, the night was cloudy, and 
so far as we have heard, the phenomenon never has been seen ex- 
cept in clear weather. In the instance to which we have referred 
in 1803, one hundred and sixty-seven of these falling meteors, 
were counted by a single person in about fifteen minutes, and he 
could not count them all. 

As hydrogenous gas when ignited with a blaze, explodes with 
a sound, it is difficult to refer these shooting stars to that cause, 
as no noise is stated to have been heard in any of the instances to 
which we have referred. But the noise of thunder, succeeding a 
blaze of lightning, may be with some probability, referred to its 

* See American Philosophical Transactions, Vol. VI. Med. Repos. for 
Aug. Sept. and Oct. 1804, pa. 167. 


exploding the hydrogenous gas, within certain limits. These 
limits being bounded by the extent of the cloud ; which, as we 
suppose, detaches a certain portion of it from the whole mass, 
and by its watery vapors, prevents the electric fire from extending 
beyond, or rather circumscribes a portion of the hydrogen itself. 
A wise provision of things may be therefore discerned in rain be- 
ing sent with the lightning, else the whole heavens of hydrogen 
might explode at once. 

§ 17. That solid matters may form in the upper regions, we 
must suppose, and indeed, we have the authority of Sir Isaac 
Newton, for supposing ; who conjectured that the vapors, and 
the light from the sun, had like water, their sediment, and that 
this sediment thus begun, might attract other matter from the 
planets, until at last a secondary planet might be formed. And 
then that it might go on increasing until it became a comet, which 
comet, after its parts became condensed, might lose its identity, 
and end in becoming a part of the sun itself. This ultimate dis- 
position of comets, Sir Isaac thought designed to supply the con- 
stant waste of the sun, which results from its immense emission 
of light and heat continually. We must not here omit to men- 
tion, that it was his opinion, that all the planets were formed of 
the same matters as our earth, such as earth, water, stones, &c. 
but differently arranged ; or as he expressed it, variously con- 
cocted. The opinions of a philosopher such as was Sir Isaac 
Newton, of whom it was said that he was 

So near the gods — man cannot nearer go, 

merit upon all occasions, the utmost consideration. 

As stones are ascertained to have fallen from the aerial regions, 
we conclude that they were formed there, and it is philosophical 
to suppose that this source is their primitive origin. 

§ 18. If there are any who disbelieve in the falling of mete- 
oric stones to the earth, we can refer such to at least one instance 
in which they fell at sea, near a vessel, one of which fell on the 
deck of the vessel itself. This was preserved by the captain, 
and brought home by him, who certified to the fact, and adverti- 
sed that it might be seen and examined by any person, at his place 


of residence in Westminster street, Providence, R. I. Capt. 
Gatewood, was the commander of the vessel referred to. He 
took his departure from Block Island, bound to St. Barts, June 
I7th, 1809. And when three days out, steering E. S. E. in lat. 
30, 58, N. long. 70, 25, W. it blowing very brisk from the south, 
and being cloudy and squally, with sharp lightning and loud 
thunder, a sharp and uncommon noise was heard astern, which 
lie compared to the report of a pistol, at two distinct and different 
discharges. A few minutes after these reports, the clouds appear- 
ed to separate over head, at which moment a stone fell on deck, 
and at the same instant, a large number fell in the water, under 
the lee, about twelve feet, as the captain supposed, from the vessel. 
The stone which fell on board, weighed upwards of six ounces. 
It was of the color of iron, with spots interspersed, resembling 
verdigris, which were supposed to have been impregnations of 
copper. The editors of the Rhode Island American, who first 
published this account, examined the stone themselves.* 

It was apprehended that if the large quantity of stones which 
fell near the vessel, had fallen on board, that serious injury might 
have been done to the crew. A stone thus falling on board a 
vessel which had no stones on deck, is a decisive proof of falling 

In Jan. 1S10, a meteoric stone fell in North Carolina, which 
was submitted to the examination of Bishop Madison, of Wil- 
liamsburg, Virginia. Bishop Madison tells us that this stone 
weighed three pounds, and that its general appearance was similar 
to those of the meteoric stones of Europe, and to those which 
fell in Connecticut. But it had one peculiarity unknown to some 
of these. It had polarity, and was strongly magnetic. It fell 
from above, like those in Connecticut, with an explosion. Mete- 
oric stones have been referred to the volcanoes of the earth, but 
when their heat and the explosion accompanying their fall are 
considered, this opinion cannot be maintained. 

§ 19. It has been supposed that all light and heat proceeded 
from the sun alone. But this opinion is not entirely correct. 

* See N. Y. Medical Repos. Vol. II. Hex. 3. pa, 178. 


God said let there be light and there was light. This was before 
the sun, moon, or stars, were created. The light of the aurora 
borealis, evidently does not proceed from the sun. And as to 
heat, volcanoes, culinary fires, and heat by friction, as well as 
animal heat, do not emanate from the sun. Nor does that most 
intense heat produced by firing oxygen and hydrogen gases. We 
have known this heat thus produced, so great as to burn up into 
scintillating sparks a piece of iron, and a piece of copper, in a 
moment. A very considerable heat may be produced by mixing 
sulphuric acid with water. Nor can the heat of lightning and 
electricity be referred to the sun, nor the light which they so 
vividly produce. The earth's surface and interior appear to have 
an agency in producing heat. The higher we ascend towards 
the sun, the colder it grows. A mountain three miles in height, 
is at its summit a region of eternal frost. Even if situated be- 
tween the tropics, its snows never melt. And where there is no 
mountain, the atmosphere is equally cold, as aeronauts have 
found, when they have ascended in balloons to an equal height. 
Brandy has been frozen which has been carried up in balloons to 
a great altitude. 

Variations in temperature, sudden cold a part of the same day 
which has been mild and even warm, excessively inclement win- 
ters, and backward springs, must be accounted for by causes 
which favor the descent of this congealing air from the upper re- 
gions. Perhaps, however, sometimes in part to ice-bergs. In 
this country, and in other countries situated in northern latitudes, 
the descent of this cold stream of air from above, seems to par- 
ticularly be to the north-west. Hence the piercing winds from 
that point of compass. The coldness of our northwesters has 
been referred to the great lakes, but this is incorrect. Virgil men- 
tions the same thing respecting that wind as occurring at Rome. 
Geor. iii. ver. 366. 

Semper hiems, semper spirantes frigora cauri. 

The meaning of caurus, or chorus, is a north-west wind. And 
the meaning of the sentence, may be thus given. " It is always 
winter; and the cauri, the north-westers ever blowing cold." (See 
Adam Clarke on Acts xxvii. 12.) Virgil was born about seventy 


years before the birth of Christ, now nearly two thousand years 
ago, and we see at that great distance of time that the north-west 
wind was ever blowing cold at Rome. 

Some general atmospheric causes must occasion the freezing, 
and ever freezing air of the regions over head, and only fifteen 
thousand feet distant from our summer grass, and garden flowers, 
to descend to the north-west ; and by being reflected, to visit us 
with frosts, chills, and congelation. 

In the neighborhood of the Cordilleras of South America, they 
have the cold of the polar circles on the top of the mountain; 
the mild climate of the temperate zone at its middle, and the 
heat of the equatorial regions at and around its base. 

Tropical regions are not uniformly hot, sultry, and pestilential, 
as people at the north are apt to imagine. For at less than three 
miles over head, even under the equator, as Le Blond observes, 
is a region of eternal frost. And at the height of ten thousand 
feet, in the latitude of forty-five, the same eternal frosts are 
reached. In no part of the United States have we any mountain 
upon whose top snow lies the year round, because there is none of 
sufficient elevation. 

The Caatskill and White mountains are the most elevated.* 
But even these do not rise to eight thousand feet. And the high- 
est part of the Alleganies, the Otter peak, is short of four thou- 
sand feet. Our earth may then be considered as a warm orb, 
surrounded at the altitude of three miles, with a polar region. 

In passing from the shore of the ocean to the top of the Andes, 
you experience all the vicissitudes of climate, and see all the va- 
rieties of vegetable productions, which are found in equatorial 
and arctic regions, and the countries intermediate. Such a re- 
gion is interesting, not only to the natural but to the medical 
philosopher. For the constitutions of man on the mountain 
heights, correspond with those in cold boreal countries. Those 
in the middle regions with those of temperate climes ; whilst the 
human and brute species, of the low and torrid region, differ from 
those on the ascents and heights. Hence it is found, that inva- 

* It has been said that a mountain in Essex county, New York, is higher than 


lids who require a change of air, and new varieties of food, may- 
find them by travelling the mountains, up or down, without taking 
lono- journeys, as those of level countries are obliged to do. 
Merseilles and Naples may be found as to their temperate cli- 
mates, by a journey of a mile and a half. 

In French Guiana, which is a region of most intense heat, the 
thermometer is elevated as high as 77° to 89° at an elevation of 
twelve hundred to fifteen hundred feet, on the mountains. Here 
hail nor hoar frosts are never known. The natives go habitually 
naked. And as Le Blond tells us, it is impossible to excite, by 
the best machines, the electric spark. Here the temperate region 
is difficult to arrive at, on account of craggy mountains, which 
are steep and difficult to pass. The cold region commences 
where the temperate one ends, at about from seven thousand nine 
hundred feet, to nine thousand two hundred and fifty-five feet. 
The cold increases as a higher elevation is gained, till the region 
of snow and ice is found, where all vegetation is at an end, ex- 
cept arctic plants. Palms thrive in the hot region. Orchards 
flourish in the middle zone, whilst the botanist finds the plants of 
the Alps and of Greenland, on the inclement and bleak tops of 
the Andes. 

§ 20. It has been supposed that our climate here in New Eng- 
land, New York, and the other northern states, was gradually 
changing for the better, that is, becoming warmer in the winter. 
The clearing of the country, the cutting down of the forests, 
which sheltered the snow, and kept it from melting by the rays of 
the sun, has been assigned as the cause of this amelioration. 
But this opinion has been contested ; although it was held by an 
author whom we have heard more highly applauded, out of New 
England, than any writer who has ever issued a publication in 
that section of country. We refer to Dr. Williams, and his His- 
tory of Vermont. 

It is an opinion held in opposition to his, upon this point, that 
as the earth and the sun retain the same relative situations to each 
other, that it is unphilosophical to hold the opinion, that any ma- 
terial diminution of cold can occur. Especially, as it is not 


proved that the sun emitted less rays, or less warm ones, in an- 
cient than in modern times. 

When a country is covered with forests, these forests protect the 
snows of winter from melting. And snow is very well known to 
be a bad conductor of heat. It secures, therefore, to the earth a 
greater degree of warmth than when its surface is bare of trees 
and snow, and lies exposed to the piercing blasts of winter. 

Naked fields have been known to freeze to the depth of three 
feet ; whilst in the woods, where the earth's surface is covered 
with snow, there has been at the same time, little or no frost. 

Snow will sometimes fall when the ground is but little frozen, 
or perhaps not frozen at all. And admitting that it is frozen to a 
considerable depth, if the snow lies steadily upon it during the 
winter, as it often does in the woods, it extracts the frost by its 
moisture, and by its being warmer of itself, than frozen ground. 

It indeed seems to be a fact that since our forests have fallen, 
that we have had some colder days than were ever known whilst 
they were standing. But we at the same time have not had so 
much steady cold weather. The mean temperature may not 
vary much, if any, by the clearing of the country ; although it 
is admitted that we have had less snow and more pleasant warm 
days in winter, and more excessively cold ones, than when our 
forests were standing. But that the mean temperature of some 
years does very materially vary, cannot be denied. When this 
variation causes more warmth, and a higher mean rise of the 
thermometer, it has been referred to planetary influence, or to the 
increased action of fire, in the heart of our orb, or in its atmos- 
phere. And when we have had extremely cold winters, and cool 
summers, and backward springs, and early autumnal frosts, we 
have heard of spots on the sun, and of mountains of ice higher 
than the top of the highest mast, floating in the ocean. The 
proof of which, as well as of immense fields of floating ice, can- 
not be denied. But how and where do these immense moun- 
tains of ice form ; and how, and from whence are they pushed 
into the seal We must suppose that they are the productions of 
the polar regions. That they have been long accumulating, 
during centuries indeed, which have passed without a thaw. And 



that at last they are detached by thaws, and high winds from the 
north, which drive them into more southern seas. 

Facts confirm this theory. Access to Greenland, which was 
formerly visited by navigators, and even by missionaries, had been 
prevented for the space of four hundred years, by ice. In the 
year 1816 or 1817, this icy barrier broke up. This breaking up 
probably began in 1815 ; as we heard of floating ice in 1816, in 
abundance, and the summer was very cool both here and in Eu- 
rope, in 1816. The disruption of the ice, therefore, probably 
began the year preceding, which was the year of the great gale in 
New England, i. e. Sept. 1815. And we have observed that 
when an elemental strife or commotion occurs in one part of the 
world, that something similar occurs in a distant, and sometimes 
very distant part of it. 

§ 21. Geologists of great genius, are busily engaged in form- 
ing a plausible and probable theory of the earth's interior, and of 
the mammoth, inguadon, and other fossil remains, petrifactions, 
and animal exuvia it contains ; as well as of its other physical 
phenomena. We may mention the Rev. Mr. Buckland, in Eng- 
land, Professors Silliman and Hitchcock, and Dr. J. L. Comstock, 
in this country. We must direct the eyes of these philosophers 
upward. Geography cannot be learned without some knowledge 


of astronomy. Now we view the subject of aerolites, and the 
falling of stones and rocks from the heavens, as intimately con- 
nected with geological researches ; and indeed, as the astronomi- 
cal part of geology. The explanation of this curious subject, 
like the developement of all others which are involved in myste- 
ry, must be preceded by an extensive collection of facts. As an 
important part of our knowledge of the anatomy and physiology 
of man, it is necessary to become acquainted with all the proper- 
ties of the elementary matters of which he is formed. Nor can a 
system of human nature be completed, without deep reflection, 
and a scrutinizing examination into physical phenomena. 

Water, which so readily quenches fire, is still a constituent part 
of every thing that burns. Nor do we scarcely know any sub- 
stance that is combustible, but that it contains some water. In- 
asmuch, that as a general rule, it may be said that fire will not 
burn without water.* The hottest of all fires is made of the 
constituent parts of water. We cannot account for the pheno- 
mena of the earth, unless we assume the theory that water in 
oceans, was placed first in our system, and the rocks, mountains, 
sands, and all the granitical, and primitive parts of our orb, was 
thrown in a fused or heated state into it. 

We mention this subject a second time, in order to remark, 
that a great part of what are mountains now, was once gravel and 
sand, which amphibious and marine animals, beneath the sea, 
could manage to throw into eminences, and submarine mountains ; 
which upon the changing of the location of the sea, upon its 
leaving one part of the globe for another part of it, which on all 
hands is allowed to have happened, came to view as dry land, and 
is so still. 

The incorporation of the shells of marine animals, can be 
accounted for upon this hypothesis, and upon this only, into 
mountains not volcanic. 

§ 22. A writer who wrote before the American Revolution, 
and who was at the time he wrote, a member of the British Par- 
liament, and who had previously been Governor of Massachusetts 

* Air contains water, and fire will not burn without air. Coal contains less 
water than any other fuel. 


Bay, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, and Governor of South 
Carolina, Thomas Pownal, Esq. has made some interesting geo- 
logical remarks upon our soil, rivers and mountains, in connection 
with Mr. Lewis Evans, of Pennsylvania, who was the earliest 
geologist of the New World. 

This writer, after having said much upon the Alleghany, End- 
less and Kittatinni mountains, and mentioned the Kaatskill 
mountain, and also their spurs, observes, that " The stones in all 
parts of these mountains are full of sea shells." And further 
says, that fit is not in the loose stones scattered through the vales 
that these shells abound only, but they are found at the tops of the 
mountains also." 

He mentions having seen some mixed with the rocky base of a 
high mountain. And of having found a soft stone in a creek, 
five or six feet long, as full, as he says, of all sorts of shells, as 
if they had been kneaded into a lump of brown clay. 

There was all the variety of shells that could be imagined, and 
many that he had never seen before, nor of which he could ima- 
gine their existence in nature. He mentions particularly, a large 
escalop, with corbels as fine as those of cockles. He was almost 
disposed to pronounce this a lusus natures, but he afterwards saw 
that sort of shell, and many other of the sorts which he saw there, 
in a bed of soil more than thirty feet under ground, in Virginia. 

Gov. Pownal, mentions his having examined also a spot near 
a mill in Maryland, where earth had been dug from an adjacent 
bank to construct the mill dam. Here he found shells at the top, 
mixed with loose sand. At three or four feet deep they were 
inclosed in a sandy clay. And at four or five feet deeper, the clay 
was gradually hardened, as he says, into a loose kind of stone. 

As Mr. Evans was not a professed geologist, as he had declared 
for no system, and as his remarks are the result of his own rigid 
inspection, and as he visited the States* from Massachusetts to 
Virginia, as well as part of what now forms the state of Ohio, and 
above all, as he appears to have been a man of first rate talents 
and acquisitions, we have noticed his observations with much 
interest. And we have here particularly adverted to what he has 

* Then Colonies. 


said respecting the different locations in which he found sea shells, 
as confirmatory of our previous hypothesis. 

What he says of the soil, or sand, hardening into stone, with 
shells imbedded in it, is directly in point, in relation to the geology 
of our mountains, which are not of volcanic origin. These emi- 
nences, when the sea left them dry, were sand, gravel and sea-soil, 
which in the course of time, and by the action of the sun, air, and 
percolation of fresh water, falling from the clouds in rain, have 
become crystallized into rock. 

Some of their fissures, and crevices, may be referred to the 
action of water freezing into ice. Ice occupies more space than 
water. It is thus that casks, and other vessels, are burst by the 
freezing of water in them. And the power thus produced is im- 
mense, when the cold is extreme. 

§ 23. As to fish bones, shells, and trees being found imbedded 
in the soil of America, at the distance of forty, fifty, and even of 
one hundred feet, at which latter distance the trunk of a tree was 
found on Long Island,* they must be referred to alluvial action. 

A hill, which composes the upper division of Cincinnati, is, 
according to a very competent and very learned authority, Dr. 
Drake, of that city, like the scite of the whole town, of alluvial 
origin. This hill is composed of loam, brick-clay, gravel, sand, 
pebbles, which are silicious, and fragments of argillaceous grit, 
with a thin soil on the top of it. Some of the pebbles, however, 
are termed by him, opake calcareous carbonate, and some white, 
blue, brown, and red amorphous quartz, flint, and several varie- 
ties of granite, but all water worn, and resembling those found 
on the beaches of the adjacent rivers, 

The formation here must be of river alluvion, or by the action 
of fresh water, as no marine shells are found, nor no animal exu- 
viae have been found, except the vertebrae of the mammoth, and 
of those but one solitary bone, at the depth of twenty feet, in the 

* This was about thirty miles from New York. At Hempstead plain, a log 
three feet long was found in digging a well, at the depth of one hundred and 
eight feet, also on Long Island. 


Vegetable matters were found at the same depth, and also at 
the depths of thirty-six and of ninety feet, in digging wells in the 
same hill. At the depth of ninety feet, the workmen dug up the 
stumps of two trees, which they supposed had grown there. An 
intelligent labourer would certainly be able to determine this 
point, by their position, and the fine and fibrous ramifications of 
the roots. And our country certainly abounds with more intelli- 
gent operatives, than any other country in the known world. 

And our merchant ships are commanded by men of better 
general knowledge, than those of any nation, England not ex- 
cepted. From these creditable and praiseworthy acquirements, 
of the common mass of our population, we expect much, and 
have already, as we think, begun to experience the scientific 

We have already referred to one ship master, whose descrip- 
tion of the bones, and of the scite in which they were found, at 
Girgenti, were drawn up in a style of scholarship. How many 
highly important facts might by this time have been concentrated, 
and made known in the world, had every captain of a merchant 
vessel been equally observing, and equally competent ! 

We incline to coincide with those persons who dug this well of 
Jacob Burnett, Esq. at Cincinnati, in their opinion that the trees, 
of which they found the stumps, ninety feet below the surface, 
might have grown there, and afterwards been covered to that 
depth, by river alluvion. 

From their very deep situation, it has however been inferred, 
that these stumps were deposited there, when that part of the 
country was, as Mr. Volney supposes it to have been, in ancient 
times, covered with the waters of a lake. 

In either case, a curious geological question might be raised, 
as to the age of the world. 

§ 24. Coal beds, which are not formed from peat, must be 
referred to rafts of wood. 

As these stumps were not turned to coal, although ninety feet 
of earth had accumulated over them, we are led to the query, 
how many ages fossil coal is in forming? As to how long this 
mass of ninety feet of earth, was in its accumulation over these 


stumps, we would refer the matter to Professor Hitchcock, of 
Amherst College, who supposes that the same causes are in ope- 
ration now, as formerly, as to alluvial formations. 

The Rev. Mr. Buckland, however, is said to have discovered 
that the first chapter of Genesis, is not correctly translated, and 
that the earth is as many millions of years old, or more, than it 
has hitherto been reckoned thousands. 

We have seen it lately stated, that by a government survey, 
there are found twenty thousand square miles of coal bed, in 

Those immense rafts of trees and wood, in our western rivers, 
one of which is ten miles long, and two hundred and twenty yards 
wide ; and another, much more capacious, viz. one on Red River, 
fifty-one miles in length, we must suppose destined to become 
coal, at some period immensely future, if they are not removed. 
But for this formation, the river must be obstructed, by the raft, 
and change its course, and leave the wood and the other vegetable 
products in quiet, to be changed by terrene operations. Coal 
beds may, however, be formed from peat ;* Professor Hitchcock 
having found one hundred incipient coal beds formed in Massa- 
chusetts alone, from this substance. 

§ 25. We incline to think that a peculiar vegetable action, 
or fermentation is necessary for the formation of coal. It may 
be compared with that of the human body, which in certain situa- 
tions after death, instead of decaying or changing into its origi- 
nal elements, is wholly turned to a fatty substance, called adipo 
cere. Bodies lying on the beds of certain rivers, after the person 
was drowned, have been found wholly turned into this fatty, or 
waxlike substance, which fs deemed incorruptible. 

§ 26. As we have referred to gigantic human bones, as hav- 
ing been found in the Old World, we have some documents 
before us, upon the same subject, relating to the New ; all lead- 
ing to the conclusion that both continents were once inhabited, in 

* Peat is formed from a little vegetable, named sphagnum paluslre, in places 
wet and swampy — it is called turf, by some. 


part, by a race of men of superior stature to the present. Has 
the world, therefore, as it grows old, a tendency to belittle its ani- 
mal productions 1 

The fossil remains of men and of animals, seem to speak such 
a language. 

Mr. James Foster, of Aubeville, Ohio, in relation to the anti- 
quities of that state, writes, that he is situated in the midst of 
them ; and that he has seen skeletons from eight to ten feet 

R. D. Richardson, Esq. of Circle ville, in the same state, states 
that a mound in Montgomery county, was opened, in which a 
singular kind of vault was discovered, in form of a sugar-loaf, 
coming to a flat arch on the top. And that in this vault 
was discovered a large quantity of human bones, the arm bones 
measuring from the shoulder to the wrist, about three feet in 
length, being as we may remark, at least ten inches longer than 
those of an ordinary man. 

The same gentleman remarks, that in Franklin county, five 
miles west of the town of Washington, a large number of bones 
were found within a small mound, which mound was com- 
posed of flat stones ; and that one scull was taken out nearly 
whole, and so very large as to cover the face of the largest persons 
who were present. Another particular is told of this fossil crani- 
um, appended to which it seems that a part of the vertebrae of 
the neck bones still remained attached, which seems to speak a 
language not to be misunderstood. It is, that this mound, and 
the observation may apply to other mounds, was a place of sepul- 
ture for those who fell in battle ; and that the giants of old, like 
their less bulky successors, were sometimes engaged in war. In- 
deed, who can view the whole of animated nature, and not be 
struck with the universality of hostility 1 The elder President 
Adams observed, that he believed that even the eels in vinegar 
were quarrelsome. 

But the fact to which we allude is, that the stone head of an 
arrow was found sticking into the back of the neck bones of this 
skeleton. A part, this, of a living body, which for an arrow to 

* Med. Rep. Hex. iii. Vol. 3, p. 383. 


penetrate, would divide, or compress, the spinal marrow, and 
cause a person to fall as instantly down, as though shot through 
the heart ; and as certainly, yet not so soon, to die. This 
ancient warrior, must have been shot as he was retreating from an 
enemy, between two contiguous bones of the neck — the cervical 
vertebra:. The arrow, to have so long retained its place, must 
have penetrated the intervertebral cartilage, and divided, or lace- 
rated, that continuation of the brain, called the spinal cord, or 

These bones ought if possible to have been preserved. But we 
have to regret, that very ancient bones, crumble, upon being dis- 
interred and exposed to the air, and no method has been hitherto 
discovered to prevent this. The most probable is, to place them 
immediately upon their removal, into a glass case, made airtight. 

A tumulus, or mound, has been recently opened at Westmore- 
land, England, about a mile and a half from Great Ashley. 
This tumulus was seventy-five feet in diameter, and about eight feet 
high, and was constructed of loose fragments of lime-stone rock; 
in removing which a few feet from the surface, the skeleton of a 
giant eight feet long, and a large horse's head were found. 

A little lower down, two other skeletons, lying across each 
other, one of which had a dirk, or knife, between the ribs of it, 
were discovered. 



■ » 


§ 1. The remains of ancient, labored, and extensive works, 
mounds, ditches, walls, and excavations, are subjects of great 
curiosity, and have excited much learned speculation. We have 
not heard of their parallels, or any thing like them, in the Old 
World, as a whole ; although some of the barrows in the latter, 
may approach some of our small mounds. That they were not 
erected by the present race of Indians, in their present state, is 
allowed on all hands. But by whom and for what purpose they 
were erected, is a perplexing query — which is increased by their 
various modes of formation ; by the various quantity of ground 
which they inclose ; by the different height of their earth-bank 
walls ; and by the stones brought, in some instances, from con- 
siderable distances, to aid in some parts of their construction. 
Like the Egyptian pyramids, they excite our wonder, and stimu- 
late our curiosity, to know that about them which cannot be 
known. And like them, they may ever have been of less utility 
than the immense labor and pains, which they denote. If we 
could believe that the ancients erected works for no other purpose 
than to excite astonishment in the moderns, we would point to 
Egyptian pyramids, and to these wonders of the West and South, 
as instances. 

The Right Reverend Bishop Madison, of Virginia, has written 
with much sense, acuteness, and erudition, upon the subject. 
And he has almost made me of his own opinion, that those works 
to which he refers, and which he visited, on the Kanhawa river, 


and its vicinity, could not have been erected for fortifications, or 
military works.* 

The reasons for this opinion are, that many of them have the 
foss, ditch, or moat, within the inclosure or earth-bank parapet — 
that this supposed parapet, wants the elevation necessary for a 
defensive work — and above all, that a mound, some sixteen or 
eighteen feet higher than the walls, is erected at the distance of 
some forty or fifty yards, which completely commands them. An 
enemy getting possession of this mound, and there being nothing 
to hinder, could throw any kind of missiles with effect into the 
inclosure. And the Bishop very justly observes, that to first build 
a fortification, and then to rear a castle, or mound without it, 
which would give an enemy its entire command, would be as far 
from the notions of an Esquimaux, as a Buonaparte. 

One of these mounds, on the Kanhawa, in Virginia, measured 
four hundred and twenty feet in circumference, and was very 
nearly forty feet high ; there being on the top a level of twelve or 
thirteen feet in diameter. These mounds have in other places, 
and in various instances, been opened. And that they were 
cemeteries, has been ascertained by the bones which they were 
found to contain. But as to the supposed fortifications, or inci- 
sures, the use or purpose for which they were constructed, is the 
grand desideratum. That those on the Kanhawa could not have 
been built for any military purpose, is further rendered probable, 
by their not unfrequently standing at the very bottom of a hill, 
from which, as Bishop Madison observes, stones in thousands 
might be rolled into every part of them. 

And again, that those which are remote from water courses, 
still have no marks denoting wells ever having been dug in them ; 
and as water is an indispensable article for a beseiged army, this 
fact, although it differs from what has been observed in Ohio, 
would seem to be conclusive as to those inclosures in which wells 
never had any existence. 

But there is one further position taken by the Bishop to dis- 
prove the supposed military design of these works. And it is 
such an one, that if it existed throughout the United States, or to 
any great extent in any one State, would of itself be sufficient to 

* See American Philosophical Transactions, Vol. VI. 


decide the matter, and to compel every one, who thought upon 
the subject, to think with him. We allude to the frequency of 
those structures, which upon the river Kanhawa, for the extent of 
eighty or one hundred miles, and also in contiguity to many 
streams which empty into it, they are to be met with in almost 
every square mile ; and in most of this distance, for every mile 
square, there are several. And they are indeed as thick and as 
irregularly dispersed, as the farm houses and barns, of planters 
and farmers. 

Now we say, that if they were equally thick throughout the 
country, we should suppose that some agricultural object was 
their design ; some pen, or pound for wild beasts, or planting 
patch. But the fact is, that in some parts of the New World, and 
for hundreds and hundreds of miles in extent, no such structures 
exist at all. 

Throughout the whole of New England, nor in Eastern New- 
York, do we hear of any Indian forts. We must therefore keep 
in mind, that the present race of aboriginals never originally con- 
structed these laborious works, for which they lacked skill, tools, 
enterprise, and industry. 

They were the works of another, a more systematic, and pro- 
bably of a more gigantic race. Beings to whom the Indian tribes 
were in constant hostility, and whom they finally extirpated; and 
that so long ago, that their memory is lost- — no tradition being 
retained, by whom, or for what purpose, these earth- bank inclo- 
sures, with their ditches, were ever erected. But as to the conti- 
guous mounds, it is evident from the showing of Mr. Jefferson, 
in his Notes on Virginia, that the present race did use the upper 
part of them, as did the ancient race their bases, for places of 
sepulture ; or perhaps this remark belongs to Bishop Madison 
himself, as we learn from him, that near the summit of one of 
these mounds, articles of European manufacture, such as the 
tomahawk, and knife, were found, which were never seen at any 
depth ; it being well known that the Indians deposit with the bodies 
of their deceased friends, such articles as they most highly prized 
whilst living. Were this universally the case, we might account 
for these mounds being carried upwards to a great height above 
the contiguous walls of the supposed fortifications, by the modern 


But here another difficulty meets us ; for the mound already 
noticed, on the Kanhawa river, of forty feet in altitude, could not 
have been thus used by the modern aboriginals ; it having a tall 
oak, of two feet and a half in diameter, which had grown on the 
top of it. The oak had been blown down apparently a few years 
before Bishop Madison visited the spot, but was still lying there. 

Now as respects the moderate elevation of these banks, dis- 
proving their having been originally intended for fortifications, we 
have to remark, that fascines, pickets, or the sharpened tops of 
prostrate trees, might have crowned, and added additional security 
to them — all which wood works long ago decayed, nor left a 
wreck behind. And as to the foss or moat being inside, it is not 
certain that although the Romans, according to Polybius, con- 
structed their forts with the moat outside, that it does not afford 
equal obstruction to an invading force, when dug in the interior. 
And of one thing we may be pretty certain. It is, that when an 
army in haste has fortified itself by fascines, prostrate trees, or 
pickets, and when an invading army is immediately in the vicini- 
ty, that the besieged, if for further security, they determined to 
throw up a bank, and to dig a trench, that they must of necessity 
work inside of their wooden barrier. 

This may account for the moat sometimes being on the inside ; 
which on the Kanhawa does not always appear to have been the 
case. And in Ohio, we have not learned that any instance of the 
kind has been noticed, except when there has been two moats, 
one outside, and the other inside the wall. As to water, it might 
have been collected from the rains, and retained in wooden 

We must be careful to keep in view that the ancient aborigi- 
nals were not the same savage hordes as the present Indians, who 
live by hunting and fishing. The former no doubt lived partly 
by agriculture, and had some knowledge of the mechanic arts, 
and of the smelting of ores. In proof of which, the Hon. W. 
Campbell, of Ohio, mentions one of these fortifications, of a 
peculiar character, on Point creek. This, he tells us, is stationed 
on the summit of a very high hill, and that its walls are of stone ! 
And although it incloses, as he thinks, two hundred and fifty acres 
of land, the stones of which the wall is built, must have been 


brought from a considerable distance ;* a certain proof that the 
present dilatory race of savages never built it. 

Here then was a farm of two hundred and fifty acres enclosed 
with a stone wall, within which are several excavations, which 
the Hon. Mr. Campbell tells us, must have been wells. And al- 
though he observes, that this fortification must have been im- 
mensely strong, yet he does not suppose that the design was so 
much for defence in war, as for the security of certain work- 
shops. This opinion is predicated upon the discovery of the 
cinder of metals there found, in large quantity ; and that deep 
in the midst of a heap of it, is to be seen a large flue. 

He does not find the construction of this great inclosure calcu- 
lated for sallies on an invading enemy. And it evidently incloses 
too much land to be needed for work-shops, and the operation of 
smelting alone. Both the purposes of inclosing a farm, and of 
securing the work-shops, appear to have been intended by this 
large, curious, and ancient structure. 

He thinks that appearances justify the conclusion that the metal 
wrought, was at least partly iron ; and mentions a spot three or 
four miles southwardly, where the artists probably procured their 
ore. This was between two parallel and perpendicular rocks, 
not far apart. It had been lately opened when the account was 
written in 1812, and the marks of supposed mattocks discovered. 
Another of these fortifications is situated on the banks of the 
Little Miami, about thirty-five miles N. E. from Cincinnati, over- 
looking the river, and calculated to defend the adjacent beautiful 
and fertile country, as well as the stream. The plain upon which 
it stands, is about two hundred and thirty-six feet above the level 
of the Miami, and between two other small streams, with high 
banks. The walls of this inclosure are of earth, and surrounded 
by the steep banks of the water courses, except at the N. E. 
corner. „ The lines of the walls correspond with the precipitous 
banks of the water courses, and vary in height agreeably to their 
altitude and shape ; being usually from eight to ten feet high, 
where additional security is afforded by them, and nineteen and a 
half feet high, on the plain, where this additional security ceases. 

* Vide Med. Rep. Hex. iii. Vol. 3. pa. 385. 


On the exterior of this wall is a deep ditch. The base of the wall 
is stated to be four poles and a half thick, and that in a number 
of places it appears to have been forced by bodies of water 
breaking through it, which were collected and pent up within the 
inclosure. And here we would observe, that the excavations 
which are mentioned to be found within the area of the stone 
fortification, where the work-shops were once situated, if not 
really wells, may have been designed for the accumulation and 
retention of rain water, in small ponds. 

Two mounds are situated about twenty poles from the eastern 
gate of the Little Miami fortification, each ten feet and eight 
inches in height. From these mounds, in a north-east direction, 
are two roads or paths, one pole apart. These end at or near a 
third mound, and are raised about three feet from the surface of 
the earth. This has been supposed to have been a race ground. 
But Mr. Campbell thinks that it was most probably a place where 
the savages made their prisoners run the gauntlet. Between the 
wall and the river, at the S. W. end of this fortification, are three 
roads forty poles in length, cut out of the precipitous bank of the 
stream. There are excavations supposed to have been wells, in 
this, as well as in the fortification on Paint Creek. 

§ 2. In Christian countries, a spot is chosen for a burying 
yard, where the graves are dug contiguous to each other, the 
whole extent being small. The origin of church-yards, so called, 
or burying grounds, is Roman Catholic. Bodies were thus con- 
centrated in a small space, and near a church, that they might be 
the more conveniently prayed for by the priests ; that denomina- 
tion, unlike the protestants, making it a part of their religion, to 
pray for the dead. The laying of the dead of the same family 
near together, who were so nearly connected in life, would seem 
to be congenial to the feelings and affections of the living, and 
to human nature itself. The aboriginal or Indian mode of 
sepulture, displayed this trait of the human race, by laying the 
first dead body on the surface of the ground, and covering it over 
with earth. And the next, and succeeding bodies, were placed 
around it, in a circular direction, until the basis of a tumuli or 
mound, of sufficient or of the intended size, was in time formed 


by deaths and burials. Then, as others of the tribe dropped 
away, they were laid over the first, in a somewhat smaller circle, 
and covered like the former with earth, until by subsequent deaths 
the second circle was finished. Then a third, fourth, and indefi- 
nite number of circles were formed, until the mound was twelve, 
twenty, or forty feet in height, as fancy or the size of the tribe 
might dictate. 

That this was the mode of sepulture of the ancient aboriginals, 
was ascertained by Mr. Jefferson, who had one of these mounds 
opened under his own inspection, which was situated on the Ri- 
vanna river, in Virginia. The number of bones in this mound, 
authorized the conclusion, that a thousand bodies had been there- 
in deposited ; and yet it was a small tumuli compared with some 
others ; it being only forty feet in diameter, and about twelve 
feet in height, or a little above. 

President Jefferson, who never touched a subject without throw- 
ing light upon it, by examining the different layers of earth, and 
of human bones connected with these layers, and by finding in- 
fant bones in the mound, corrected the erroneous notion that these 
cemeteries were always the results of combatants slain in war, 
and all inhumed at the same period. He found that the earth 
and the bones of the different layers were distinct, and uncon- 
nected with those above or below ; and that the various strata of 
bones were in various states and stages of decay, indicating the 
various periods in which they were inhumed. 

The origin and growth of these mounds may be considered 
now as well ascertained ; and the only question which remains to 
be settled, is with respect to the inclosures ; the high walls of 
earth, and sometimes of stone — the wide and deep, but some- 
times narrow and shallow moats and ditches. There are others 
on the Fox river, of small elevation, and considerable length, in 
the shape of aligators, and lizards, evidently of no military origin: 
— Post- Mortem deposites, no doubt. That one hundred of these 
structures, which required great labor to construct them, should 
be found on the Kanhawa river, in the space of one hundred 
miles, sufficiently proves that they had other uses than the occu- 
pancy of garrisons, or any other purposes purely military. They 
were inclosures for gardens, patches for potatoes and corn, and 


houses, and places to secure domestic animals, and to shut out 
wild beasts, and to secure work-shops for the mechanic arts, from 
being plundered. 

That they were built on the low lands near the Kanhawa river, 
plainly proves that a part of their design was agricultural, for 
here are some of the best lands in Virginia. Had they been de- 
signed wholly for military purposes, they would have been built 
on the adjacent and adjoining hills. But had they not been built 
partly with that design, they had not been built at all. 

We must constantly bear in mind, that they were not construct- 
ed by the present race of savages, but by a different and more 
civilized people, between whom and the former, there was unre- 
mitting hostility ; so that they found it necessary to fortify their 
dwellings, protect their animals, and secure their tools ; and that 
this state of things continued for a long number of ages ; until 
the one hostile people had extirpated, or amalgamated with the 
other, and that then these structures, like the Chinese wall, when 
the Tartars and Chinese became one nation, ceased to be of any 

These domestic fortifications, must, however, be considered as 
calculated to secure a partial jurisdiction of their proprietors, over 
the surrounding country. When their ramparts were increased 
by fascines, both in height and in security, those within, might 
with their arrows, keep depredators at a distance. The aborigin- 
als in this region, cultivated corn and potatoes ; and it is remark- 
able that the Europeans did not find the latter north of Virginia. 

§ 3. As to animal food it was derived from the chase ; and as 
to milk, it was unknown in the New World, as an article of diet, 
although the lama, so similar to the camel, might have supplied 
it in those parts of the continent where it was found. Camel's 
milk is a favorite article of food in some parts of the Old World, 
and mare's milk is used by the Tartars. It is one of the difficul- 
ties, in deriving the aboriginals from the eastern continents, when 
it is considered that this article of diet, so universal there, was 
unknown upon the first discovery of America. But if it can be 
supposed that man passed over the polar and arctic regions of 
the Old World into the New, how could the equatorial and tropi- 


cal animals and reptiles, find their way thither 1 and from whence 
came the rattlesnake, the condor, the lama, and numerous other 
birds, beasts, and reptiles, unknown in the Old World 1 We 
have no other way to solve these perplexing questions, than by 
supposing that the whole world was originally but one continent ■ 
and that at the primary formation of dry land, water did not 
cover three-fifths, or three-fourths of the globe, as at present ; 
and that all the oceans were in one. There will be no difficulty 
in inferring what was done with the superabundant waters of th« 
flood, upon this hypothesis. 

The common origin of man, is to be inferred from the surpri- 
sing uniformity of his anatomical structure. In the Egyptian 
mummy, in the Chinese, in the Sandwich Islander, in the Green- 
lander, and in the Patagonian, we know of no material anatomical 
or physiological difference. The same number of cranial bones, 
the same red blood, and yellow bile, and transparent tears, and 
the same uses of each is universal. 

§ 4. It has been supposed that men partake of the nature of 
the particular countries, and even districts, in which they happen 
to live — that where nature furnishes things upon a grand scale, or 
a beautiful scale, or upon a rough and barren scale, as to lofty 
mountains, magnificent rivers and bays, charming fields and 
groves, or rough and craggy cliffs, angular rocks, and precipitous 
hills, and misshapen vallies, that the inhabitants will have corres- 
ponding notions, and bodily forms, and modes of intercourse, 
conduct and refinement. And we ourselves, think that there is 
about as much reason, and about as many facts in support of this 
system, as for that of Messrs. Gall and Spurzheim's system of 
craniology. We at any rate know one beautiful town, perhaps 
including its adjacent scenery, marine and terraqueous, the most 
beautiful in America, which has long been noticed, even so long 
ago as the American revolution, and it is said before it, for very 
beautiful women. We refer to Newport, R. I. 

It is a remarkable geological feature, that where we see one 
handsome hill, or dale, or point, or promontory, which looks as if 
it had been struck out by nature, after the model of an easy, 
elegant, and graceful penman, with his finished strokes of de- 


pression and elevation, that we do not see it alone. We shall find 
another, and another, and often spacious districts proudly peer- 
ing, of the same description. And on the other hand, where we 
see one mountain resembling a thunder-cloud, or one knoll filled 
with stones, rough and round, or a sunken bog and quagmire, or 
hills and vales, which are crooked and zig-zag, like the marks 
and letters of a child, who has just begun with pen and paper, 
that we shall find their ungraceful neighbors near by. 

§ 5. But in further remarking upon aboriginal antiquities, we 
may observe, that some of them must have been designed, if all 
were not, for defensive or military works alone. There is, for in- 
stance, a hill between the city of Rochester, and the village of 
Le Roy, and it is the only hill which occurs between these two 
places, which are twenty-seven miles apart. It is called Fort- 
hill, from a moat or vast ditch upon its brow, so long indeed, that 
our patience failed to go to the end of it, as our carriage was 
waiting. This incloses no area, and the earth thrown out of it, 
was thrown towards the brow of the hill. It is nothing more than 
a long fosse and bank. I should think it must originally have 
been six feet wide, and six feet deep. It must have been a pretty 
formidable barrier to a hostile tribe, who attempted to march that 
way further west into the Genesee country. We did not learn 
that there was any mound or eminence of any kind in its 

It is one very extraordinary feature in the mounds, or cemete- 
ries in Virginia, Ohio, and we believe wherever they have been 
found, that the earth which composes them was brought from a 
distance; there being no excavations in the immediate vicinity of 
those on the Kenhawa, from which it was taken. 

Earth from Jerusalem, has been, on account of its supposed 
sanctity, carried to Europe ; and these aboriginals, probably had 
some spot which they considered holy, from which at immense 
labor, they brought the earth to cover their dead. 

It is, as we conceive, very justly remarked by the Right Rev. 
Bishop Madison, that the Indians had two kinds of these mounds. 
The largest he considered to have been national. Here those 
glain were inhumed after a battle ; and here the bones of those 


whose fate was sealed by death, at too great a distance to bring 
their bodies, were deposited, after having been carefully collected, 
and the religious ceremonies and mourning of the nation, had 
been gone through with, which were of a thrilling and extrava- 
gant kind. 

The other species of mound was smaller, and designed for a 
family or society. Every fortified or inclosed space had its 
mound, which was placed in a line with the principal gateway. 
These mounds were from ten to twenty feet in height. 

Now in relation to these mounds commanding the gateways of 
the supposed fortifications, if they were really such, may we not 
suppose, that the top of them was fortified by pickets, and that 
they were the places where centinels were stationed, to defend the 
gate, when there was a gate to the gateway, against an invading 
enemy ? And thus did these mounds answer the double purpose 
of cemeteries and of bastions. 

§ 6. It appears from an account now lying before us, relative 
to these mounds and fortifications in Georgia, for there, as well 
as in Virginia and Ohio, where a fortification or inclosure was 
discovered, there was one or more mounds also, near it ; that the 
mound itself was fortified, by a moat and bank about it, distinct 
from the main fortification, but near it, or within it. This was 
not always, but in one instance it was the case ; perhaps in more. 

Again, upon Cedar Creek, Jones County, Georgia, there is one 
of these circular forts ; and we may here observe, that this is 
always, or generally their shape. It is situated on a very high 
hill, and incloses about seven acres of land, with a double moat 
and wall, about twenty feet from each other, forming two circles 
of earthern wall, and two of foss or ditch ; the wall being now, 
from six to eight feet in height. There is to this fortification, 
four gateways, and inside each of them, there is at the distance of 
about twenty feet to the right, an elevation of earth, which is now 
about eight feet in height. There cannot possibly be any doubt 
about the design of these being to protect the gateways, for they 
are within the fort ! They are not circular however ; the largest 
of them which is near the N. E. gateway, being two hundred feet 
long, by one hundred and twenty wide ; affording a summit, upon 


which a very considerable body of soldiers might stand, sit or lie. 
The other three are of similar shape, but much smaller. Exteri- 
or to all these works there is a mound or barrow, which is suppo- 
sed to be a cemetery. 

§ 7. The fortification in Georgia, which we have first noticed, 
contains an area of about twelve acres. It is from fifteen to 
twenty miles from Fort Hawkins. The elevation of earth within 
this inclosure, is of an oblong shape, and appeared to be one hun- 
dred and fifty feet by eighty. It was evidently intended for a kind 
of citadel, and here an ancient city might once have stood, near 
the sea shore, when the shore was as in ancient times, near where 
the immense bed of oyster shells, with other marine remains, 
now lie. 

This bed of shells, ninety miles in length, with other oceanic 
exuvire, runs quite through the State of Georgia, whose present 
sea shore is at a considerable distance from it southerly. And it 
is to be particularly noticed, that these antiquities are not to be 
found on the plain and alluvial formation, which constitute the 
present southerly part of the state, but beyond the ancient sea- 
shore, in the upper country, which is not champaign, nor alluvial, 
but interspersed with hills, vallies, and rivulets. 

We are then at liberty to suppose, that these relics of antiquity, 
are as ancient as the former shore of Georgia ; and that they pre- 
ceded the alluvial formation of the south part of the state, called 
the lower country. 

We have noticed an interesting communication to the Editors 
of a former periodical, published in New York, from Dr. Nicho- 
las Childers, from which we have drawn some particulars, re- 
specting the antiquities found in Georgia.* 

We may here notice one opinion which has been advanced 
upon the subject of these American mounds and fortifications ; 
and we do it, because it comes from an authority so high, that it 
merits notice, although for its most glaring absurdity, it merits 
none. It even shows that any one who could hold such an opin- 
ion, could neither have seen any of them, nor read, nor thought, 

* Med. Rep. for August, September, and October, 1810, pa. 146. 


nor conversed, much about them. It is that they are natural 
productions ! 

§ 8. It was our opinion, and the remark has already been 
made, that it was allowed on all hands, that the present race of 
Indians could not have constructed these works. We have, how- 
ever, since observed one writer, who holds the contrary opinion, 
and thinks that the ancestors of the present savage race, might 
have been their engineers. He calls in question Dr. Robertson's 
opinion, who supposes that a nation will not so far degenerate as 
to lose the necessary arts of life, such as the plough, and the 
loom afford. But this writer thinks that ploughs and looms were 
not necessary, or could not be termed the necessary arts of life, in 
a country where game was so plenty as to afford both food and 
clothing.* The writer did not reflect, that this singular notion of 
his, implies the increase of game, and of forests, in a civilized 
country ! He having previously admitted, that the remains of 
old forts, which he tells us are of an oblong form, and built con- 
tiguous to the water, and that fragments of earthen ware found 
more especially near the forts, but some of them all over the 
country where he resides, indicate that it was once peopled by 
men of very different habits from the present natives. If, there- 
fore, the present race may live upon wild animals, and dress them- 
selves in the skins of wild beasts, their ancestors might have done 
the same. They might have had their forts in the morass, form- 
ed by nature, and their bastions behind the oak, and their citadel 
in the mountain crag, as now : — besides, if there were not two 
conflicting nations formerly upon this continent, these military 
antiquities would point to centuries of constant civil war — a state 
of things unheard of on earth, among men civilized or savage, 
who had the art of fortification. One observation of the writer is, 
however, a very appropriate answer to those who have said that 
these fortifications were erected by mariners, who were cast on 
shore, to protect themselves from the savages. It is that they are 
not erected on the sea coast, but in the interior. This is so much 
the case that we have never heard of one of these antique struc- 

* A Topographical Description of Jefferson County, N. Y. See Med. Re- 
pos. for May, June and July, 1810. 


tures upon the tide-waters ; a very extraordinary and surprising 
fact indeed ! 

§ 9. We are told of the existence of mounds on the Oak- 
mulgee river, in Georgia, upon a plain. Near one of these 
mounds, Fort Hawkins has since been erected. In digging into 
the side of one of these eminences or mounds, to erect some 
building belonging to the garrison, we are told of the workmen 
finding the remains of guns, whose locks were much longer than 
of those now in use ; and that at or near the same place, farming 
utensils, such as axes and hoes, were found, but of an unknown 
shape, and different from those now in use ; and also, that the 
clapper of a bell was discovered, which after the loss it had sus- 
tained by rust, or oxydizing, weighed seven pounds. 

But we cannot imagine that these articles could have been of 
any great antiquity, and not coeval with the age of the large trees 
which grew on these mounds. We incline upon this subject, to 
the opinion before adduced, that these articles were of European 
manufacture ; and that the Indians, since the Spanish invasion, 
sometimes used the ancient cemeteries to inhume modern bodies, 
and modern articles in, which belonged to the deceased. They, 
these guns and the farming tools, were probably articles of 
Spanish, or Portuguese manufacture, which from the migratory 
habits of the natives, may be easily conceived, as having been 
brought or handed thus far north from Mexico or Brazil. As to 
their having been interred into the side of the mound, the reason 
may have been, that the top of it was encumbered with a tree or 
trees. The guns were in a state of mutilation and decay. 

Dr. Childers mentions an oak, which is on the wall of one of 
the fortifications, which agreeably to the usual mode of compu- 
ting the age of trees, by circles, must be three or four hundred 
years old. But we incline to the opinion, that the age of these 
ancient fortifications, must be extended back to a period far more 
distant than the trees indicate, or even the trees that bore their 
acorns, indicate. We have already advanced the opinion that 
those ancients who erected the mounds and fortifications on the 
Kanhawa, in such numbers, were cultivators of the soil, and that 
they did not, like the present savages, depend upon such a pre- 


carious mode of existence as hunting and fishing, or at least, not 

We have a confirmation of this opinion from what we learn 
of some parts of Georgia, in which ancient roads may be traced, 
in the middle of which grow the lofty oak ; and in the stones, 
in some of the most fertile districts, having been gathered, and 
now found in heaps ; and in the soil being thinner upon the de- 
clivities of some fertile hills, than upon their tops, from their hav- 
ing been washed by rains whilst under cultivation. Intelligent 
farmers, who of all mankind are least apt to be visionary, have, 
as we are told, adopted the opinion generally from these facts, in 
the most fertile parts of that State, that an ancient race of plant- 
ers preceded them. 

§ 10. Dr. Childers mentions one trait of aboriginal history, 
which so far as we know, is unique. It is, that in the upper and 
middle counties of that State, heaps of ashes are found, contain- 
ing from one hundred to five hundred bushels. He remarks, that 
when one of these heaps are found, others are found in its neigh- 
borhood, and that one heap is seldom found alone, and sometimes 
many on the area of an acre. It would seem then, that these 
ancient planters, did not know the use of ashes as a manure, and 
that they so disposed of them as least to encumber the ground. 
Or did they, in clearing their plantations of trees, collect them 
together into immense piles, and then set them on fire ? 

We incline to the opinion that they were culinary ashes, brought 
out from their dwellings, and thus deposited, from their contain- 
ing pieces of earthenware. This, Dr. Childers tells us, was of 
rude manufacture, and unglazed ; but carved on the outside with 
various figures. He saw one piece whose circumference, or 
periphery of circle, denoted a vessel of at least twenty inches 

But are we right in any of our conjectures about these ash- 
heaps ? 

When we were told that human bones were found amonsr these 
ashes, we thought of their being funeral piles, or piles where the 
bodies of slain enemies were consumed, which might not be ad- 
mitted into the mounds with those of the nation ; and we thought 
of widows burning themselves. 


But from Indian prejudices, and superstitions, respecting their 
dead, and from the care which they took of the bodies and bones 
of their deceased friends and warriors, we incline to the opinion, 
that the bodies of their enemies might be forbidden their cemete- 
ries, and were therefore disposed of as the ancient Romans dis- 
posed of the bodies, both of friends and enemies, burned. The 
bones found in these heaps appear to have been in the very last 
stages of decay, and crumbled to dust immediately upon expo- 
sure to the air. 

There may have been local customs among the aboriginals, as 
there was, and is now, among them and all other nations. We 
do not recollect that Dr. Robertson, in his History of Spanish 
America, mentions any thing of the kind, or Humboldt in his 
Travels, or Clavigero, or the Abbe Molina, in their histories of 
South America. 

After all, if Virginia, and Ohio, and Georgia, once had a race 
of natives who cultivated the soil, what need is there for suppo- 
sing that they were exterminated 1 Why may we not conclude 
that they were only driven away further south 1 

Molina says, contrary to Dr. Robertson, that the Chilians were 
not hunters, when the Spaniards first arrived, but that they had 
passed from the hunter state to that of husbandmen. He men- 
tions their cultivation of potatoes, Indian corn, or maize, pom- 
pions, &c. He mentions cider as having been made of wild ap- 
ples, and other wild fruits, and as being the drink of the inhabit- 
ants of the Archipelago of Chiloe. He also mentions native 
brass in Chili. 

§ 11. The Baron Humboldt tells us, that in those parts of 
America in which the natives did not cultivate the soil, that they 
were not attached to it, and that they left it and retired to other 
parts at the approach of the Europeans ; but that the natives of 
tho southern parts of Anahuac,* and some other tracts, were so 
much attached to the country which their forefathers had cultiva- 
ted, that they suffered cruel vexations rather than leave it. His 
conclusions coincide also with the Indian tradition, that they came 
from the North. He supposes that the Toultees appeared in 

* Now called New Spain. 


South America as early as 648. To them he imputes those pyra- 
mids which are yet admired, and whose faces are laid out with 
accuracy. To them he gives the credit of having introduced 
maize and cotton, and says that they could cut the hardest stones, 
and paint in hieroglyphics, and that they had a solar year more 
perfect than that of the Greeks and Romans. 

Why then is it wonderful that some remains of a more civilized 
race than that of the present savages, should exist in Georgia, 
Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, and even as far north as Jefferson 
county in New York"? and even in Ouisconsin 1 Why is it more 
wonderful that the northern Indians erected fortifications and 
mounds, than that those of the south built pyramids, and forged 
metals, and constructed bridges, and manufactured cotton 1 

It seems quite as mysterious why some of the inhabitants of 
the New World, were in a state of comparative civilization, and 
had cultivated the arts, whilst other parts of it even at the south, 
were as savage as those of the north are at this time. 

Dr. Robertson mentions that the natives of Bogota and the 
Natchez, were far more advanced towards the civilized state, than 
in the surrounding tracts of country. But he, like the Baron 
Humboldt, leaves the reason why, an unexplained mystery. The 
Baron refers to the north-west coast, between Nootka and Cook 
river, and under N. lat. 57° for superior acquisitions ; and speaks 
of their hieroglyphical paintings, and especially of a harp, which 
is at least as remarkable as the famous harp in the tomb of the 
king of Thebes. But he, although a scientific traveller, unravels 
few mysteries. In fact his writings tend to increase the difficul- 
ty of the problem, as it respects the derivation of the inhabitants 
of the western continent from that of the eastern. 

It is indeed difficult to decide from what race, or from what 
part of the eastern people they could have emanated. Not from 
shepherds, or a pastoral community, because they knew not the 
use of milk. Not from agriculturalists, because they brought no 
wheat, rye, barley, or oats, with them. And while it has been 
wildly and madly supposed, that the first emigrants might have 
brought over useless and destructive animals, and even noxious 
reptiles, and hurtful insects, it has scarce been noticed that they 
left all the precious grains behind. Would a man who was going 


a voyage of three thousand miles, take in alligators, and leave his 
cows behind, his oxen and his sheep ? 

§ 12. The Mexicans were acquainted with the use of sea-salt, 
and used to boil in earthen pans, the salt water from certain pits, 
to procure it. But the natives more northerly, did not know its 
use, nor do they on the north-west coast, or beyond the Mississip- 
pi, know it to this day, except that some may have learned it from 
the whites. This seems to denote that the Mexicans learned the 
use of this article for themselves, either by appetite, or accident, 
or experiment. Had it been brought from the Old World, as an 
article for seasoning and preserving food, or had the knowledge 
of it been brought from thence, how was this knowledge lost, 
nearest to its source, and not found till Mexico was reached ? 

The national character of the northern tribes, seems to ap- 
proach the definition of William Penn's of a great man — that it 
does not consist so much in doing great things, as in suffering 
great miseries, without complaining. The Indians had this char- 
acter of greatness, and still retain it, to the great chagrin of the 
missionary who would convert them, and to the school-master 
who would teach them, to the legislator who would learn them 
laws, and to the soldier who would subdue them. 

The barbarous independence of the natives, resembles that of 
some barbarians with white faces, who spurn all the restraints 
and self-control which health, happiness, and competence would 
teach. The natives have rejected many useful things from dis- 
like to those who use them. But it is almost sufficient of itself 
to disprove their origin from the eastern continent, that they did 
not know the use of salt and milk, as they are tenacious of cus- 
toms derived from their ancestors, to the last degree. 

Salt is so highly esteemed among some nations as to be used as 
a common term for all kinds of food, as bread is with us. It 
seems also to have been used as a generic term for the payment of 
a stipend ; as from salt, sal, comes salary. 

It was a part of the law, ecclesiastical, that every oblation should 
be seasoned with salt. This article seems indeed to have had 
a higher rank than any other ; it having been used as a sacred 
*eal in making covenants — " neither shalt thou suffer the salt of 


the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering : 
with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." And again, " it is 
a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee, and to thy 
seed with thee." 

Had those who have written with an intention to prove that the 
Indians were the descendants of the lost ten tribes of the Jews, 
considered this part of the canon, and had they known that the 
natives knew not the use of salt, they would probably have spared 
themselves their labor. 

§ 13. The ultimate principles of all aliments, animal and 
vegetable, are the same.* These are oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, 
and azote. But salt, or the muriate of soda, is a condiment in 
preserving meat, producing digestion, and preserving health. It 
is relished by man, and sought after by animals, which are pas- 
tured at a distance from the sea. Where they are kept within a 
certain distance of the salt water, the sea air suffices, without the 
salt itself. The saline springs of the west, and the celebrated 
springs of Saratoga and Ballston, were discovered by animals, 
and especially deer, being seen to resort to them. 

The lamas and apalcos of the south, and the bison and buffalo 
of the north, would have afforded milk to the Indians, had they 
known its use. 

The similarity of the natives to the Tartars, has been used as 
an argument for the former having been the descendants of the 
latter. But here the same difficulty occurs as to salt and milk, to- 
gether with another, relating to language ; that of the Tartars 
being barren, and consisting, as it is said, of but a very small 
number of words ; whereas, in Spanish America alone, the Baron 
Humboldt found no less than twenty languages ; and he is care- 
ful to tell us that these were not dialects, of one or a few lan- 
guages, as some have supposed, but that they were as different 
from one another as the Greek and German, or the French and 
Polish. He also informs us what seems at first almost incredible, 
that fourteen of these languages have grammars and dictionaries, 
as he expresses it, tolerably complete. 

• There may be shades of difference which chemistry has not reached. Ani' 
mal and vegetable charcoal, have properties entirely different. 


In relation to the aboriginal mode of living, it is worthy of no- 
tice, that where the natives were treated with the most lenity, and 
in consequence, as we may suppose, adopted the diet and cus- 
toms of the Europeans, that they have rapidly diminished in 
numbers ; whereas, where they were treated with such inhuman- 
ity, as they were by Cortez, and the other Spaniards, as to make 
their customs odious, and of course where they persisted in their 
former habits with most pertinacity, there their population has 
least diminished. By a late census of Mexico, there were eight 
millions of inhabitants, and one half Indians ; whilst in Penn- 
sylvania, where William Penn treated them with the greatest hu- 
manity, Indians are rare, and about Philadelphia, very seldom 

A young man aged twenty-eight years, Avho attended the uni- 
versity lectures in that city, with the present writer, from one of 
the counties of that state, informed me that he had never seen an 
Indian in his life. And in New England, where great attention 
has been paid to them, in all respects, they have rapidly dwindled 
away. This goes far to show that there is some hazard in com- 
munities, and even in individuals, changing their accustomed 
habits of living, even for those which are apparently better. 

§ 14. We incline to the opinion that the world must have 
been peopled before it was divided into continents and islands, 
both with men and animals. The difficulty of transporting use- 
ful animals, and the improbability of those having been trans- 
ported which were useless, worthless, destructive by their claws, 
teeth and horns, and noxious by their poisons, seems too great to 
favor the idea that they would have been removed from one conti- 
nent to another, and from a continent to a distant island. There 
are difficulties attending any view which can be taken of the 
subject, but of difficulties and evils, we must choose the least. 

§ 15. Linnaeus, a very eminent and pious naturalist and bot- 
anist, of Sweden, supposed that the inhabited part of the globe, 
was once confined to one spot — that this spot was originally laid 
bare by the partial subsidence of the waters ; and that man and 
all the original species of animals were there assembled. 



All temperatures, he imagined, were to be there found concen- 
trated among hills, mountains and vallies, inclosing regions, 
warm and cold. We know that such regions exist at the present 
day. A high mountain in a tropical climate, having eternal win- 
ter on its top, and constant summer at its base, with all the inter- 
mediate temperatures between. Such a region would eminently 
qualify, men and animals to become the inhabitants of the various 
and different hot and cold climates of the globe. It is self evi- 
dent that tropical animals could not have travelled to America 
through the polar regions ; but it is no new opinion that the conti- 
nents once joined, and that the islands also joined the continents. 
We may refer to Grotius, Acosta, Buffon and others, as having 
entertained this opinion. We must account for their separation 
by the agency of earthquakes at first, and to the agency of winds 
and of water increasing the distance to the extent now found to 

Africa is distant one thousand five hundred miles from the near- 
est part of America. The elements are in a constant state of 
warfare, and we must consider winds, waters, and fires, constantly 
at work in changing the earth. When we cast our eyes on a 
map of the world, we never fail to conclude that the gulf of Mex- 
ico was blown into its present situation — that the constant attrition 
of the waters have in the course of time carried away the plains, 
and left the high lands in the shape of the West India Islands. 
This attrition of waters was caused by the trade winds. 

These winds now, as ever, are in motion, and are the cause of 
an extraordinary phenomenon — the gulf stream — a river running 
in the sea, from forty to fifty miles wide, and more than one 
thousand five hundred miles in length." It now runs a northerly 
course, at the distance of about seventy-five miles from the south- 
ern states, till it reaches the banks of Newfoundland, when it 
takes a southerly direction, reaches the coast of Africa, where 
it is lost by filling the void which the trade winds had made, by 
blowing away the African waters, into the gulf of Mexico. We 
conjecture that an earthquake may have sunk a part of the Old 
World, now the liquid space between Africa and St. Roque, in 
South America ; and that the gulf stream might have formerly 
taken a southern instead of a noil hern direction, as at present, 


and have completed the vast chasm now existing, of one thousand 
five hundred miles ; and that the present northerly direction of 
this stream of the sea, was caused by a wider space of ocean, 
being in time immense, formed southwardly of the stream, by the 
washing away of the now two continents. An inspection of a 
map of the world will justify, at least, some part of this hypothe- 
sis. The north and north-west winds, in North America, are 
powerful winds, and the latter, in winter, long continued. Why 
these winds should not turn the gulf stream in a southerly direc- 
tion, must be accounted for from the immense unbroken Atlantic 
and Ethiopic oceans lying in an eastern and south-eastern direc- 
tion from the gulf of Mexico.* But to the westerly and north- 
westerly winds, must be referred the cause of the gulf stream 
running at the distance that it does from the shores of America. 
Were it not for these, this stream would run along quite in contact 
with the coast. The trade winds may therefore be considered as 
piling up the waters, and keeping them from spreading, on the 
eastern side, and the winds from the continent, on the western 
side, acting as the banks of a river on either side, to keep the 
gulf stream in its place. But a N. E. wind narrows it, and drives 
it nearer our shores. It is however to be noticed, that this stream 
runs no farther north than Newfoundland, and that it then takes a 
southerly course alon'g and among the Azores, or Western Isles, 
to the African coast. 

This turning south of the gulf stream, must in part be imputed 
to the northerly winds meeting it, and in part to the lower surface 
of the ocean on the coast of Africa ; the latter being occasioned 
by the piling up of the waters in the gulf of Mexico, by the con- 
stant trade winds blowing west ; and that winds may pile up wa- 
ters, we know from having seen the streets so flooded in a torna- 
do, that boats have been rowed up to houses, and taken out the 
occupants at the windows. This occurrence took place during 
the great gale of September, 1815 ; when a vessel was driven up 
into the middle of Pleasant street, in Providence, R. I. near the 
theatre. There we saw it lying, out of .sight of water, after the 
gale had subsided, and the waters of the river had returned to 
their accustomed channel. 

* See map of the world. 


A very similar tornado, just one hundred and eighty years and 
a month preceding, and fifteen years after the first settlement at 
Plymouth, in New England, is upon record.* The water then 
rose twenty feet perpendicular. The invasion of both was about 
the same time ; both being in the morning, a little before day ; 
and in both the wind blew from the south-east. The Indians in 
the first, had to climb the trees to prevent being drowned. Some 
lives were lost in each ; six in that of 1815, in the town of South 
Kingston, R. I. In this town, the force of the wind and water 
deepened a shallow passage from the ocean into Point Judith 
pond adjacent, to fifteen feet, which before the gale, the present 
writer had often rode through on horseback ; the depth of the 
water being less than two feet at that time. 

When this occurrence is considered, and when looking on the 
map of the world, at the wide ocean between Africa and Ameri- 
ca, we cannot but surmise that similar causes, upon a large scale, 
might have, in thousands of years, done what this tornado in a 
few hours, produced a miniature picture of. 

In the gale of 1S15, it rained, and the rain which fell was salt 
as the ocean ; it leaving saline marks on the glass of windows, 
more than thirty miles from the ocean. 

§ 16. Had the aboriginal inhabitants of America been found 
negroes, instead of Indians, the joining of the two continents at 
some remote period, would, we are aware, appear more plausible. 
But this difficulty, we mean that of the dissimilarity of the In- 
dians, their manners, and customs, and language, to other nations, 
and to the negroes, are problems to be met, adopt what theory we 
may, in respect to deriving them from the Old World. 

The Goths, Vandals, and other barbarians, who overran Italy, 
appear to have wrought great changes in Europe, in almost or 
quite everything; and the ancient Roman tongue was, by a 
gradual compact, between the conquerors and the conquered, 
changed into the modern Italian. So that the present language 
of Rome, may be considered as a dialect of the ancient Latin. 

In the other parts of Europe, there are traces of the barbarous 
languages, in the Teutonic and Sclavonic. But the number of 

* See New England's Memorial— Year 1665, pa. 103. 


languages amongst the Scandinavians, who poured their savage 
hordes upon civilized Europe, appears to have been few. The 
languages of Germany and England, are of Teutonic origin ; 
and most of the modern languages of Europe, are a mixture of 
German and Latin, or Teutonic and Latin. From Portugal to 
Sicily, the language of all the people and nations is of this mix- 
ture. The Spanish, the French, and Italian, are all from the 
same source ; and as M. Sismondi says, who has investigated 
with philosophic patience, and written with classical elegance, 
upon the matter, that the diversities which exist, arise rather from 
accidental circumstances, than from any distinction between these 
different races of men. Each of these tongues, he says, is 
founded upon the Latin, but the form is often barbarous. A great 
number of the words were introduced into these languages by the 
conquerors, but by far the greater number, belong to the conquer- 
ed people. 

The Moors, who possessed Spain, were in fact Arabians, and 
carried thither their learning and books ; both of which from 
thence spread over Europe. Paper, the numerals, called Arabic, 
and the compass, and gunpowder, were known to the Arabians, 
before they were known in Europe. 

On the borders of the Danube, the Bulgarians, and Wallachi- 
ans, speak a language known as the descendant of the Latin, and 
which those who know Italian, can comprehend. And the Poles 
and Hungarians, speak so good Latin, that a classical scholar can 
hold conversation with them. 

Although to the Arabians we owe so many useful inventions, 
to them we are little or nothing, as respects language, indebted. 
The languages of modern Europe are few in number, and mostly 
dialects of the Latin and Teutonic. And when words are deri- 
ved from other sources,, as from the Hebrew, Greek, Saxon, and 
Sclavonian, they are easily traced. 

§ 17. We have adverted to the comparative scarcity of ori- 
ginal languages in Europe, compared with their great number in 
South America. The Baron Humboldt found no less than twen- 
ty, which were entirely distinct, and not dialects. Another wri- 
ter, who had perhaps a better, or more extensive opportunity of 


examining the same subject, makes them no less than thirty-five. 
And in neither calculation, is the unknown amount embraced, of 
the Indians in the northern parts of North America. The Rus- 
sian alphabet, as Madame de Stael tells us, resembles the Greek. 

There is clearly no nation in Europe, from whom the Indians 
could have derived their languages. The coincidences of simi- 
lar words, are so few as to fail entirely of any kind of proof from 
that source ; and when resort is had, as it has been had by Pres- 
ident Edwards, and Elias Boudinot, to assimilate the words of one 
or two tribes in North America, in a few instances, with the He- 
brew, the analogies were so doubtful of identity, and so few in 
number, that we are sure that the writers themselves could have 
had little or no confidence in their own examples. But even if 
the instances could be indefinitely multiplied, not one of them 
would probably apply to the thirty or forty discrepant languages 
of South America, differing as they do radically, among them- 
selves, and not being dialects of each other, or of any known de- 
rivation, or common stock. 

Could we point to any, or many barbarous nations of the Old 
World, who had a great variety of different languages, we might 
infer, that it was usual for savages to have no settled orthography, 
but to have a Babel among themselves. And here we believe the 
attempt has in one instance been made ; as Mr. Boudinot refers 
to Sir William Jones, as having been informed by a Mr. Hyde, 
that the language of the Tartars, like those in America, was in 
perpetual fluctuation, and that more than fifty dialects were spo- 
ken between Moscow and China, by the many hundred tribes, 
and their several branches. We are clear that if the American 
aboriginals were derived from any nation now in the eastern con- 
tinent, that it must have been the Tartars. 

§ 18. But when the antiquities of America, in the north and 
in the south, are taken into view, it is impossible to satisfy our- 
selves that the Indians are of the Tartar race, or that they are the 
lost ten tribes of the Jews, as Mr. Boudinot has written a book to 
endeavor to prove. Even if the fact adduced from Sir William 
Jones, be admitted, respecting the fifty dialects of the Tartar 
hordes, they are spoken of as nothing but dialects, or derivatives 



from a common source, or from each other, and not as radically 
different, like those of America. In neither case would a glim- 
mer of light be thrown upon those ancient structures, the mounds 
and fortifications of the North, and the Pyramids, and remains 
of ancient cities, in the South. No one supposes that the Jews 
or the Tartars ever built pyramids. 

But pyramids are still standing in America, one of one hun- 
dred and eighty-eight feet and four inches in height, and of one 
thousand four hundred and sixty-seven feet and eleven inches 

This is at Cholula ; the measure we have given in English ; 
and although not so high as the highest Egyptian pyramid, that 
at Cheops, yet the Baron Humboldt remarks, that the one at Cho- 
lula, has the longest base of any pyramid in the known world. 

The Egyptian pyramids are built of stone, all except one, 
which is of brick. Those of America are of brick, all except 
one, which is of stone. This last, is the pyramid of Popantla, 
near Vera Cruz, and is of beautiful whin stone, faced with amyg- 

Both in Egypt and America, these immense and costly struc- 
tures are beyond the reach of history or even of tradition. No 
doubt but that in both countries their design was the same, that of 
sepulchral monuments. Kings who considered the shortness of 



life, and perhaps some of them, of the few opportunities which 
they had to make their names celebrated, and to immortalize 
their memories, might, when their pride, ambition, and resources, 
were great, seek in the pyramid for a supposed never ending 
glory after death. It is not probable that they were designed for 
the purpose for which the tower of Babel was begun, that of 
guarding against a flood which had covered the highest moun- 
tains. Had this been the design, these structures would have 
been upon mountain tops, whereas, they were some of them on 
plains, and none of them on heights. 

But these immense brick structures, and the more costly stone 
one, of a hard species of basaltes, or whin-stone, and amygda- 
loid, could only have been erected when power, and wealth, and 
skill, were more elevated, than they could be found when Colum- 
bus discovered the New World, and the Spaniards conquered it. 
And in every possible point of view that can be reasonably taken, 
the country must have been long settled, and agriculture and the 
arts in a high state of perfection, before they could have been 
erected at all. 

That they must have been designed for monuments, and nei- 
ther for fortresses, nor store-houses, nor habitations, is self evident, 
for there were no apartments, the whole inside being filled up 
with brick and clay.* 

The sepulchral earth mounds of the north, were imitations of 
these more costly structures of the south. They were humble 
aspirants of the same, or aiming at the same shape. 

How far north the custom of building pyramidical structures 
had reached, may have not yet been fully ascertained. We have 
no data to show that Indians in New England ever built any, or 
ever inhumed their dead in mounds. Nor have we ever learned, 
until quite lately, that any thing more than pyramids of earth, 
have ever been found north of Mexico. A very recent account, 
however, that now lies before us, states that a number of mounds 
have been recently discovered in Licking county, in the state of 
Pennsylvania, and that one of them, of fifteen feet in height, and 
of sixty feet base, is formed of sand-stone. And what is suffi- 

» We speak here of American pyramids. Those of Egypt had apartments ; 
in. one room of one of them, was a stone sarcophagus. 


ciently noticeable is, that there is no sand-stone to be found any 
where in the neighborhood of this unaccountable building. There 
are however heaps of Indian arrow heads near by. 

§ 19. It is remarkable that the pyramids of America, like 
those of Egypt, are built by stages. Those of Egypt being usu- 
ally of five, and those of America of four stages each, in height. 
The American pyramids are situated in New Spain, of which 
Mexico is the capital. The whole lie in North America, although 
often spoken, and even written of, as lying in South America. 

"VYe have before noticed the fertility of soil in which the anti- 
quities of the United States are found. And we may notice 
Mexico, in which pyramids and palaces of unknown antiquity 
stand, as the most fertile part of the New World, and comparable 
with that country which the Nile overflows. We speak of its 
vallies, which like Egypt, are sometimes overflowed, and always 
fertilized, by its mountain floods. And we may also observe, that 
New Spain, or the province of Mexico, is almost three times as 
large as the kingdom of the Pharaohs. 

This serves to show that both these distant, very distant, parts 
of the globe, in which pyramids were erected, owed the origin 
of their riches to the land, and to its being cultivated. And we 
have reason to suppose, from the silence of history respecting 
th?se structures, both in Egypt and in Mexico, that the periods 
when they rose, were prosperous and happy ones ; for kingdoms 
are never so happy, as when no wars, revolutions, nor insurrec- 
tions, afford any thing for historians to record. 

Egypt is a country as old as any history, sacred or profane, 
can be said to reach. From the banks of the Nile, corn was 
carried into Judea, and knowledge into Greece, in the earliest 
ages. But even before corn was carried into Judea, Abraham, 
the founder of the Jewish nation, with Sarah his wife, were driven 
into Egypt on account of famine. 

We incline to think that the pyramids of Mexico, may be coe- 
val with those of the Old World, and that their erection took 
place prior to those disruptions which afterwards divided the world 
into the present continents. That the same abundance in each 
country would lead to the same ambition, and that the results 


would lead to the rearing of similar structures, by men of the 
same era, seems extremely probable. 

§ 20. The Mexican pyramids of Teotchuacan, were visited 
by Lieut. Glennie, R. N. recently ; and his communication respect- 
ing them was read before the London Geographical Society. 

The village of Teotchuacan, is elevated seven thousand four 
hundred ninety-two feet above the level of the sea. Its lat. N. 19° 
43' and long. 98° 51' W. It is about a mile and a half from the 
ocean. The largest of these pyramids is seven hundred and 
twenty-seven feet square at its base, and two hundred and twen- 
ty-one feet in height. It stands due north and south, i. e. having 
two of its sides parallel to the meridian. About three hundred 
and fifty feet from the base of this ancient structure, there is a 
rampart, which after the long lapse of ages which have passed 
since it was erected, is still thirty feet in height. On the north 
side of this rampart are the remains of a flight of steps. From 
these steps there is a road leading in a northerly direction, and 
they are covered with a white cement. The remains of steps 
were also found on the pyramids, which were covered with the 
same sort of white cement, as were also the broad terraces, which 
the Baron Humboldt called stages. 

But the number of small pyramids surrounding the large one 
was estimated by Mr. Glennie at two hundred and upwards, and 
makes this spot, the city of pyramids. 

The Indians call the two largest pyramids the sun and moon, 
and the small ones the stars. The small pyramids vary in their 
dimensions, but they are all built of the same material, which is 
volcanic stone, and plaster, or clay, from the adjacent soil. And 
they are all coated with cement. 

The ground between the bases of these pyramids, appears to 
have been used as streets by the antediluvian dwellers. And what 
places the wealth and luxury of the times in a most striking light, 
the streets themselves were covered, or paved with cement! 

One of the smaller pyramids was covered with a kind of broken 
pottery, which was ornamented with curious figures and devices. 
In the neighborhood of these edifices, a great number of small 


figures were found, such as heads, arms, legs, &c. &c. moulded 
out of clay, and hardened by fire. 

We do not recollect that M. Humboldt mentions this city of 
pyramids, although he mentions a cluster of them somewhat simi- 
lar. What confirms us in the opinion that it was not the same, 
is, that the Baron tells us that the pyramids which he visited were 
all built of brick, with the exception of one only. This one stood 
at Popantla, near Vera Cruz, and was constructed of whin-stone, 
and faced with amygnaloid. Whereas, those which Lieut. Glen- 
nie describes, were all built of volcanic stone, and covered with 

That the erection of pyramids is very ancient, and that these 
strange structures derived their origin from the attempt to build a 
place or places of security against another flood, seems most 
probable. And that they may have been raised for ornament, or 
for a display of fancied splendor, when the original design and 
utility of their prototype was lost, even in tradition, may be in>- 

Bishop Heber found among the pagans of the East Indies, a 
tradition still in existence, of what is supposed by some to have 
been the first of all attempts to construct a pyramid. His guide, 
Abdallah, telling him that Jumsheed Jum, was the first who built 
in brick — adding that it was he who built the tower of Babel, four 
thousand seven hundred years ago ! We have thus the name of 
the principal artificer, and the chronology of that event. 

§ 21. We have seen it stated, that the word sack, is retained 
in all languages ; that being the only word which all the work- 
men remembered of their former dialect, at the confusion of 
tongues ; and that all the Babel-builders, when they found that 
they could proceed no further with the building, called out for 
sacks, to carry off their tools in. 

We do not think that the authority for this opinion is of the 
highest order. But the word, at any rate, is derived from the 
Hebrew, and may be probably found in all written languages. 

§ 22. The opinion advanced respecting the antediluvian ori- 
gin of the Egyptian pyramids, cannot be maintained in conjunc- 


tionwith that which makes them substitutes, or imitations of the 
tower of Babel, because the latter was built since the flood. 

§ 23. That this continent, and a great part of its inhabitants, 
were in the state of the eastern continent during the dark ages, 
seems as probable as that the Egyptians, Grecians, and Romans, 
all deteriorated from their ancient splendor. The remains of 
antiquity, of a period immensely past, are annually developing 
themselves in the New World. And should any method be found 
of decyphering the meaning of its hyeroglyphics, of which we do 
not despair, we may yet discover who were its ancient inhabitants. 
A man in preparing a piece of rock for a mill-stone, in the 
town of Salem, Ohio, after removing three inches of its solid sur- 
face, came to holes which had been made into it by art. But what 
was still more extraordinary, he came to two iron wedges, one of 
which had a thin strip of iron each side of it, after the method of 
splitting rocks at this day. Here was three inches of solid rock 
formed over these wedges since they were driven there ! 

That iron, excluded from the air, in rock, would remain for 
any length of time without becoming oxydated, or destroyed by 
rust, we can easily conceive. But it is still wonderful, that during 
the formation of three inches of stony matter over these wedges, 
that the action of air and water should not have destroyed their 

There are other facts in geology equally curious, and equally 
mysterious, in the Old World. 

We have an account, for instance, given by Professor Silliman, 
from Count Bournon's Mineralogy, of stumps of columns, and 
fragments of stones half wrought, with coins, and the handles of 
hammers, at the depth of fifty feet, beneath the layers of eleven 
beds of compact limestone. But what principally commanded 
the attention of the workmen, was a board of about an inch in 
thickness, and seven or eight feet long. This board was broken 
into many pieces, of which none were lacking. And it appeared 
to be, if united by putting the pieces in order, a board of the same 
form as is used at the present day in quarrying stone ; it being 
worn in the same manner, having its edges rounded and waving. 


These remains of immense antiquity, (the smaller parts of the 
board, and the wooden instruments, and pieces of instruments, 
being changed into agate,) were found at Aix, in Provence, 
France, in the years 1786, 1787, and 1788. The workmen were 
quarrying stone for the rebuilding, upon a vast scale, the Palace 
of Justice. 

Another geological fact of some interest is from the London 
Quarterly review. 

Workmen were engaged in quarrying stone at Oreston, on the 
eastern shore of Cat water, for the celebrated breakwater at Ply- 
mouth, England. The material of this Oreston quarry, is com- 
pact, close grained marble ; but there are seams of clay interposed 
occasionally, of considerable extent ; and some cavities are found 
in the marble, which have no clay, but are empty. 

It was in a bed of clay, forty-five feet long, and twelve feet 
deep, and fifteen feet wide, inclosed on every side with solid rock, 
that fossil bones were found, in a high state of preservation — 
insomuch, that Sir Everard Home said, that he had never observ- 
ed better specimens. They were portions of three different skele- 
tons of the rhinoceros. The part of the cavity in which they 
were found, was seventy feet below the surface of the solid marble 
rock !* 

§ 24. There is something in Cattaraugus county, N. Y. which 
merits notice, and a more scientific examination. It is in the 
town of Draubulainville, or not far from it, on the brow of a hill. 
About a hundred acres has rocks in resemblance of the founda- 
tions of the houses of a city. These apparently rocky scites of 
ancient houses, are situated by the side of streets ; and curious 
to relate, these streets cross each other at right angles. 

Some of the streets are covered over, so that the traveller may 
walk under cover, in what are supposed to be streets not formed 
by art, but by the sportive hand of nature. 

This latter hypothesis requires further examination, however, 
before it is decided. We incline to think that the relics of an 
ancient city are there to be found. 

* See Silliman's Journal of Science, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 144. Also, Quarterly 

Review, for Dec. 1819, No. 43. 




§ 25. Chronology and history, are contained in the bowels of 
the earth. Geologists may draw the age of the world from cer- 
tain changes of known substances, which have taken place within 
periods which can be ascertained. We look to Herculaneum and 
Pompeii, for data of this kind, but not to them alone. 

What has been already noticed as to the discoveries made at 
Provence, in France, and at Oreston in England, ought to stimu- 
late to observation. Eleven beds of limestone were found to cover 
the remains of the labors of the ancient quarrymen, at Aix. 

Correct observation, will no doubt be able to discover how long 
an inch, or a few lines of limestone is in forming. And then the 
length of time for forming fifty feet, could be easily calculated. 
And as the handles of the tools, which were of wood, and the 
thinner part of the board, were changed into agate, should the 
like changes be found to have taken place in those ancient cities, 
we might be able to deduce some data as to the chronology of 
other remains in other places ; the time that these cities were 
buried being very well known to have occurred A. D. 79, in the 
reign of Titus. There is some doubt, however, whether the man- 
ner in which they were buried would be favorable to those phe- 
nomena which occur in other places, in the bowels of the earth. 

Herculaneum and Pompeii both being first covered over by 
an immense shower of ashes, which fell on the roofs of the build- 


ings, several inches in depth. These were thrown out at the cra- 
ter of Mount Vesuvius. After this eruption of ashes, followed an 
eruption of lava, melted by the intensity of the internal heat of the 
mountain. This flowed towards these devoted cities, and finally 
reached them, filled their streets, and covered the roofs of the 
houses, which it did not consume, owing to the quantity of ashes 
with which they were covered. Many roofs were, however, 
crushed beneath the load of lava. 

Herculaneum was discovered by some workmen reaching 
the house tops when engaged in digging a well. But if in the 
streets themselves, petrifactions should not be found, the roots and 
stumps of trees, and wood and timber found beneath the surface, 
would undoubtedly afford them. And thus some conclusion 
might be arrived at, as to the length of time that it takes for wood 
and timber to become petrified. 

Petrified ears of corn, impregnated with silver, copper, and 
other metals, have been found on heights where corn does not now 
grow. The trunk of a petrified tree has been found upon Mount 
Stella, a part of the Alps in Italy, in the country of the Grisons, 
at four thousand feet above the height where even shrubs at pre- 
sent vegetate. 

In Spain, near the tower of Munda, at an elevation of one 
thousand five hundred feet above the sea, are to be found beds of 
wood in a petrified state. And it is said, that the tops of the 
Andes, thirteen thousand two hundred feet high, are covered with 
oyster shells. The strata in the environs of Pans, have furnished 
no less than sixty genera of fossil animals. 

But the most extraordinary of all geological facts is, that the 
impressions of plants found in Europe, are generally those of the 
tropical climates of America and India. 

§ 26. This would seem to show, that the whole globe has 
been pushed, or attracted further towards the north star, than it 
originally was. We incline to think, that the increase of iron, 
and the gradual growth of iron ore, on and in the globe, and in 
the blood of animals and men, as they multiply, may be so great, 
that the whole terrestrial ball, as it diurnally whirls around, from 
west to east, may gradually be drawn north ! 


No country can alter its relative position, with respect to other 
countries and continents, to be sure. But that the whole mass, 
as it rolls upon its own axis, in empty space, may, by the power- 
ful action of polarity, progress further into the northern universe, 
is the position which has, upon this difficult point, occurred to us. 
Another view of which, however, maybe taken — which is, that 
the internal fires of the earth may, at certain remote periods, have 
been so powerful as to have caused tropical plants once to have 
flourished in arctic regions. 

And it is not impossible that both these causes may have acted 
in combination, in order to produce a result so deeply mysterious, 
and which to every geologist and philosopher, is so profoundly 
interesting. And there is a third cause worthy of notice, and 
which may probably by some be deemed the principal. It is a 
diminution of the heat of the sun. How is it, that the heat which 
heats the world, is produced, unless by the consuming, or the de- 
flagration of combustibles 1 

§ 27. The sun, that has been warming and lighting the world 
ever since the creation, must reasonably be supposed to have un- 
dergone, in that vast space of time, some diminution in the extent 
and intensity of its influence. Some abatement of its fires, which 
are succeeded by dark spots on its disk, visible to the eye. We 
may view the sun likewise, as differing primarily in its different 
parts, as to the amount, the quantity, the ardency of its heat. An 
orb which is more than two millions six hundred and thirty- 
two thousand English miles in circumference, may easily be con- 
ceived to vary in its different points. We may consider it as 
having volcanoes upon every part of its surface, which are fed by 
the constant combustion of inflammable materials, within its inte- 
rior ; and that some of these volcanoes are immensely large and 
active, others smaller and of less energy, whilst others are extinct, 
and have for the present ceased to throw out flame, light, and 
heat. Hence the climate of the same country may, and does 
vary, in the same season of different years, owing to more and 
hotter rays of the sun being sent forth. 

And the mean temperature of similar, or of the same identical 
latitude, in different countries, may vary very considerably, owing 


to the greater evolution of heat, in the rays of the sun, when one 
part of the same meridional line is exposed to those rays, than 
when another part of it is. 

The same cause may likewise make a country lying more 
northerly, warmer than another lying considerably further south. 
As a remarkable instance of this, among others equally remark- 
able, that might be adduced, Paris, which is situated in lat. 48° 50' 
has a mean temperature very nearly two degrees higher than 
Cambridge in New England, whilst the latter is situated more 
than five degrees more southerly ! it lying in N. lat. 42° 23'. 

This more powerful action of the sun upon northerly regions, 
renders them habitable, and able to produce corn to support the 
inhabitants. Otherwise, Lapland, and some parts of Russia, 
Siberia, and Norway, and other northern climes, would be unin- 
habitable at all by man. And on the other hand, the opinion of 
the ancients respecting the tropics would be realized, for did the 
sun emit as vivid rays, between them, and with an ardency propor- 
tioned to its nearness, neither grass, nor fruit, nor man, nor beast, 
could endure the heat. All would be burnt up. It is therefore 
manifest, that the northern limb of the sun emits the hottest fires. 

§ 28. It was an idea entertained by the astronomers and phi- 
losophers of ancient times, who had visited tropical and equato- 
rial countries, that they were uninhabitable from the violence of 
the heat. Climates were determined, not by latitude, which they 
did not know how to calculate, but by the qualities of the inhabit 
tants, and of the animals. 

A negro, or Ethiopian, denoted a hot climate, as did an 
elephant and rhinoceros. These were found in Africa, a country 
which is divided from Europe by the Mediterranean ; and al- 
though in some parts that sea is narrow, yet the men, the animals, 
the trees, and the soil, differ immensely from each other, upon 
its southern and northern shores. But these discrepancies are 
by no means sustained throughout the world. Charleston, for 
instance, the capital of South Carolina, lies four degrees south of 
Carthage, in Africa ; yet the negro, the elephant, nor the rhinoce- 
ros were neither of them natives of Carolina. 


Other causes than those depending upon the heat of the sun, 
or the cold of the poles, alter climates. The sandy soil and ab- 
sence of verdure, as well as the non-existence of springs, rivers, 
rivulets, and lakes, make Africa, in the same parallel of latitude, 
much hotter than America, where all these are found. Indeed, 
the abundance of our waters may be one reason, and a pretty 
powerful and prevailing one, why the continent of America is so 
much colder than the parallel latitudes of the East. The evapo- 
ration of water causes cold. The vapors rise high into the air 
during summer, and descend in winter, formed into rain, snow, 
hail, or cold, damp, piercing winds, sleet, or hoar-frost. 

We have supposed that the northern limb of the sun emits the 
hottest fires, and that the south pole, is colder than the north. 
Indeed, the latter has been approached to within about six hun- 
dred miles ; whilst circumnavigators, on account of the ice, have 
not been able to penetrate beyond the seventy-second or seventy- 
third degrees of south latitude, which is not nearer than one thou- 
sand two hundred miles of the south pole. But there may be 
another reason why the north is hotter than the south, as it has 
been calculated that the sun is longer by the space of seven or 
eight days on the northern side of the equator, than it is on its 
southern side. Thus from March 21st, when the sun crosses the 
equator northward, to the 23d of September, when it crosses it 
southward, there are one hundred and eighty-six days; whilst 
from September 23d, or the autumnal equinox, to the vernal equi- 
nox on the 21st of March, is only the space of one hundred and 
seventy-nine days. 

Thus the natural order of things, rJay a compliment to the 
northern regions, which are far more extensive than the southern, 
as well as more populous ; there being more land, and more ani- 
mals, north of the equator than south of it. 

§ 29. The Aurora Borealis is termed by the northern sava- 
ges, the dance of the spirits ; and shooting stars, are believed by 
the Mahometans, to be shot at unfit and wicked persons, who ap- 
proach too near the gates of Paradise. 

An unprecedented aurora borealis, occurred on January 25, 
1837. The glow of light was of a purple hue, and reflected a 



dark red color on the snow, which covered the ground at the 

My first impression was, upon going out between the hours of 
seven and eight o'clock in the evening, from visiting a patient, 
that some large building, or village, was on fire. But this idea 
vanished when the aurora was observed to spring up in vivid 
streams, from all the northern regions, verging both east and 
west, and streaming southerly. Its color may be produced by 
any one, by putting a little iodine into a vial, and then pouring in 
some spirits of turpentine. And the smoke which arises from 
this mixture, resembles some of the darker shades of that north- 
ern wonder. It was compared in New York, to a thousand rain- 
bows, and was there said to have shades of blue and white. 

We incline to the chemical theory, in accounting for the aurora 
borealis, in conjunction with the agency of fire, or a lambent 
flame, in the higher regions. The explosive energy of electrici- 
ty, its rapid movements in lightning, and the absence of thunder 
in the aurora, all militate against the electric theory of Franklin. 

The purple aurora above referred to, was observed by Profes- 
sor Olmsted, of New Haven, to affect the needle in an unusual 
manner. Its fluctuations, at times, amounted to a whole degree 
to the westward of its mean position. 


The fine particles cast off from the polar star, in course of 
time immense, and being combined with those particles emana- 
ting from the sun, and other heavenly bodies, may account for 
this phenomenon — this northern dawn. 

The one of January 25th, was noticed the same night in Paris, 
as well as New York. The northern lights are a new phenome- 
non in this country. Their first appearance in New England, 
was on the night of December 17th, 1719. They had been un- 
known in Great Britain, at least in modern times, until March 
6th, 1716. 

§ 30. Ciudad del Palenque — signifying the city of the desert, 
called also Otulum, from a river of that name running near it, 
was such a striking monument of antiquity, that the king of Spain 
ordered it to be examined. Immense and costly buildings of 
hewn stone, and a vast range of ruins, were covered over by a thick 
forest ; and trees, which by counting the concentric circles, ap- 
peared to be nine hundred years old and upwards. Two hundred 
men were twenty days in felling and burning the trees, and clear- 
ing away the rubbish, so that a part of the ruins might be ex- 
amined. These ruins extended more than eight leagues ! They 
were sixty miles in circumference, and rather upwards, which is 
more than ten times larger than the city of New York. Four- 
teen massive buildings, all built of hewn stone, were found in 
good preservation. The largest of these was a temple, which 
stood upon a mound, sixty feet high. Another river, the river 
Micol, winds round the base of the mountain, near where these 
buildings stand, and is there, nearly two miles wide. Bas- 
reliefs, hieroglyphics, remains of buildings civil, sacred and pub- 
lic, viaducts, fortifications, and ruins, as far as the eye can reach, 
fill the beholder with awe and admiration. Colhuacam, is one 
name by which some have called this city. 

§ 31. There are in the Cumberland mountains, especially in 
the neighborhood of Laurel ridge, Tennessee, many natural cu- 
riosities. The vicinity abounds with caves, in which are vaulted 
apartments, large and splendid, and which viewed by torch-light, 
display a gloomy grandeur. It is a region of animal bones and 


of petrifactions, both animal and vegetable. Some are of men, 
and some of species of animals, now extinct. 

But the most interesting of all the discoveries yet made, is that 
by Messrs. Chester and Davis, about a mile beyond the Mammoth 
Grotto, in the mountains referred to, in a cave which they discov- 
ered themselves, of one hundred and twenty-five feet, into the 
mountain. This cave is of difficult entrance, and in it was found 
the bodies of two petrified men, and a petrified dog. One of the 
men was holding a spear in his hand, in a balanced position, as 
though he was surprised, and had just started on a quick walk. 
The other is in a sitting posture, with his head as it were leaning 
against a projected rock. The dog is in a laying posture, upon a 
flat rock, as if crouched with terror, or as about to make a spring; 
the features of the body, not being distinct enough to certainly 
tell which. It is extremely difficult to conjecture, what caused 
the death of the man in the erect posture, and how he should 
have died standing erect, with a spear in his hand ! 

§ 32. So far as we have been able to trace the world, there is 
something like system attending it in all ages. There has seldom 
been a period, marked with wisdom, or monstrous for absurdity, 
in one part of it, but that it has been parallelled in another. The 
crusades of the Christians, were preceded by those of the Ma- 


hometans. The miracles of Moses were imitated by the magi- 
cians of Egypt. The period of witchcraft, so deemed in New 
England, had in Germany, and in Scotland, the same mania, ac- 
companied with enormities still greater. And so of individuals, 
one man has not been found greatly in advance of another in his 
career of military glory, of grand discoveries, of superstition, of 
persecution, or of toleration. Julius Caesar had rivals in Pompey 
the Great, and Brutus. Buonaparte had to compete with a Wel- 
lington and a Blucher. The great Sir Isaac Newton, had Locke, 
and Halley, and Bentley, for contemporaries, and a rival in Leib- 
nitz, who laid claim to some of his grand mathematical dis- 
coveries. Hannibal, esteemed invincible, found a conqueror in 

Persecution did not end when the yoke of the Pope was 
thrown off, by the reformation. The protestants persecuted each 
other in England; and even in Switzerland, the civil and eccle- 
siastical authorities had Manzius drowned for being re-baptized. 
And Calvin had Servetus burned for denying the Trinity. Even 
in Massachusetts, the descendants of the Pilgrims, persecuted the 

But the present day is strikingly and luminously and beautiful- 
ly marked with toleration, which has spread its cheering rays 
throughout Christendom, and even reached the Grand Sultan, on 
his throne at Constantinople ; whose course we admire, but whose 
end, we fear, will be hastened by the jealous Mussulmen. 

It is extremely difficult for those who live at an immense dis- 
tance apart, as to time, or as to space, to penetrate the motives 
which led to the construction of certain buildings, the fabric of 
certain utensils, or the motives for certain acts of government, or 
actions of individuals. We cannot, for instance, but admire that 
wisdom which confounded the language of that people, who after 
a flood which had covered the highest mountains, undertook to 
j-ear a tower as a place of security against a future catastrophe of 
jthe kind, upon a plain, the plain of Shinar ! And yet those 
Babel-builders were our acknowledged forefathers. Reason 
would teach us, that reasonable men would have chosen not a 
plain, but high land, and even the highest mountain in the coun- 


try, for such a structure, and that otherwise it could not have been 
the least security. 

We cannot but think, but that with the confusion of languages 
there was a confusion of ideas, among the descendants of the 
Babel builders, of what the real intention of the ancient Babel 
was undertaken for ; and that as these descendants were disper- 
sed into distant parts of the then undivided globe, that they un- 
dertook and did erect pyramids as an imitation of that on the 
plain of Shinar. They did this without reason or utility, it is 
true, bu 1 ; in thise respects they copied after their fathers. It was 
sufficient for them, that their eyes beheld something similar to 
what the eyes of their fathers had gazed upon with admiration, 
and that they had their example for what they did. A chord was 
struck whose vibrations excited pleasure in the auditory nerves, 
delighted the eye, and thrilled with extacy through the breast. 
Such a chord, has now, ever had, and in all time, so long as 
fathers have sons, and sons have fathers, and love of local habit- 
ation inspires, will have, existence. 

The Swiss pine for a view of their lofty mountains, when they 
become the inhabitants of champaign countries ; and even the 
inhabitants of the mountainous parts of New England, and those 
who were dwellers on the sea-coast, when they remove into the 
far west, feel a lack of the delight of their eye, and some never 
seem to themselves at home, at a distance from their native moun- 
tains and seas, where are nothing but plains and prairies to be 

Such human nature is, or such it becomes, by a curious, but 
wide spread and never ending principle, the association of ideas, 
of which Mr. Locke gives a curious example, of the young man 
who could not dance unless there was a trunk in the room, be- 
cause he had learned to take all his dancing steps in a room 
where an old trunk happened to stand. 

A multitude of such kind of instances occur in health, and 
more especially are they connected with sickness ; in which, as 
Dr. Rush observes, a bed, a chair, a table, become matters of 
consequence, as to their identity, and as to the places which they 
occupy in the room. And we may observe, that the room of the 
house itself, into which, or out of which, the sick man is removed, 


sometimes have such an influence on the prejudices of even a 
strong mind, debilitated by disease, as influencing the event, and 
meriting the attention of the physician and the nurse. We well 
remember the horror which a dying man once expressed at his 
bed being turned round. 

The Baron Humboldt tells us, that it is impossible to read, 
without being warmly affected, what is related of the manner of 
living of the first Spanish Colonists. Surrounded as they were 
by Indians, of whose language they were ignorant, they cultivated 
such plants as recalled to their minds their native plains and gar- 
dens. He is speaking of New Spain, and further says, that the 
epoch at which an European fruit first ripened, was distinguished 
by a family festival. He gives an instance of a brave officer, the 
valorous Andres de la Vega, who collected together his old com- 
panions in arms, to share with him three asparaguses, the first 
that ever grew in Cuzco. 

This association of ideas is found in families and individuals 
of all nations, and may be viewed in some of its shapes, as a 
universal principle. 

In order to account for the spread of customs, and the erection 
of structures, which are found similar in places far distant from 
each other, we must look at the migratory propensities of indi- 
viduals, and of tribes, and of nations, in ancient times. 

The founder of the Jewish nation,* was born in Mesopotamia, 
called also Padan-Aram. From this his native place, and the 
native place of mankind, he was told to depart for Canaan, but 
from this place he was driven by famine into Egypt. From 
Egypt he was driven out by Pharaoh, on account of his beautiful 
wife. And we do not find him going directly back to Canaan, 
but going south, and finally reaching it, probably by the circuitous 
journey that the Hebrews did, at a later period, who, under Moses, 
were forty years in travelling to a place which, by a direct route, 
might have been achieved in as many days ; as though loth to end 
their journey, and to reach that promised land, where they knew 
that they must become stationary. 

The original propensity of man, seems to have been to con- 
sider the whole world, and not a particular spot in it, as his habi- 

* Abraxn, according to Josephus, first taught that there was but one God. 


tation, and under this emigrant feeling, to have roved so far, as to 
have made it difficult for him to return. Else how should the cold 
regions of Europe, have been peopled from the fertile, and flow- 
ery, and paradisical region, betwixt the Euphrates and Tigris, 
where man first knew, and first was known on earth 1 

We know what is said in fabulous history, about Europa, 
daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, being carried by a god, 
Jupiter, into Crete, the present Candia, an European island ; and 
that from this beautiful virgin, who enamoured the god, that 
Europe had its name. But we find that Crete had inhabitants 
before the arrival of the god and his lady ; for we are informed 
that after this intercourse of heaven with earth, and the nymph's 
giving birth to three sons, Minos, Sarpedon, and Rhadamanthus, 
that Asterius, king of Crete, married her. Therefore we find, 
that even if Europa gave her name to Europe, that she did not 
give it its first inhabitants. 

§ 33. But in pursuing the subject of American pyramids, and 
other antiquities, we must be allowed to suppose, that men, ari- 
sing from a common stock, and primarily peopling a common 
spot, might have, as related to buildings, and beauty, and dress, 
and ornaments, common ideas. And that afterwards, when ne- 
cessity compelled a man to dress himself in something besides 
the skins of animals, of which his first coat was made, in Eden, 
and the woman to procure something for an apron besides fig 
leaves, that their children followed their example from choice ; 
and that the mother of inventions, necessity, was the first invent- 
or of new fashions. 

We can hardly suppose, with our present information, that the 
natives of South America could have derived from Greece and 
Rome those decorations which bear a resemblance to some of 
theirs in their ancient temples. We have seen some newspaper 
statements, of Greek inscriptions having been found in mounds 
and caves ; and of a medal found in connection with the anti- 
quities of Georgia, having hieroglyphics on one side of it, and 
the word Roma on the other. And although this latter account, 
is from what we deem a respectable source, yet the gentleman 
who gives the statement, did not himself see it taken from an 


Indian mound, but had the account second hand ; but it was such 
an one as he had full confidence in. 

We can implicitly rely upon what the Baron Humboldt tells us, 
who travelled into Mexico, and South America, on purpose to be- 
come acquainted with those interesting countries ; and who was 
a learned man, and had been to Rome, and examined the anti- 
quities of the eternal city. He was a Prussian, and we believe 
travelled under the patronage of the king. In the Intendancy of 
Oaxaca, or Guaxaca, he found an ancient palace built for a place 
of resort when the king had lost one of his family, such as a wife 
or child. It was called Mitla, a place of sadness, and sometimes 
by the Indians, Leoba, which signifies a tomb. No account, not 
even traditionary, could be obtained by whom, or at what remote 
time, it was built. 

This mourning palace speaks of a degree of refinement in 
sorrow which we should not expect to find except in a nation far 
advanced. Palaces would first have been built for royal residen- 
ces, for splendor and munificence, before one would have been 
thought of for a purpose so opposite. But the history of human 
nature in all ages, and in all nations, developes some men of 
sedate looks, and of serious minds, however the majority may be. 
Solomon said that it was better to go to the house of mourning, 
than to the house of feasting, although his own practice did not 
illustrate this sentiment. And the Rev. Laurence Sterne, who 
once took those words for a text, began his sermon as follows, — 
" This I deny." 

We are apt to attach to all nations which are not Christian, the 
idea that they are revellers, and that soberness of demeanor, and 
sedateness of countenance, and strictness of conduct, belong to 
themselves alone. But these things are not exactly so. 

From the magnificence of antique edifices now standing, and 
from the great extent of august ruins, compared with the small 
extent of that part of America which was not found in a state of 
barbarism, we must be compelled to the conclusion, that when 
the Europeans discovered the New World, that it was in a retro- 
grade state — such a state as Europe experienced during that peri- 
od long, dismal, and dreary, called the dark ages. 


Had an inhabitant from China, visited Europe, for instance, in 
the year 1000, he would have found but few spots in it, besides 
Constantinople, which were not sunk into incivility, misery and 
semi-barbarian wretchedness. 

And as arts and arms once travelled east from Rome to Byzan- 
tium, the light which dispelled the darkness of the dark ages, 
spread from Constantinople to the west. 

But neither do we, in the history of nations, nor of individu- 
als, usually find an isolated fact. What occurred in the old 
world, probably once occurred in the new. That is, the flux of 
nations which Indian tradition referred to, as being from north to 
south, was once from south to north. 

Such were the conclusions of the Baron Humboldt, who had 
the best opportunity of knowing. He even goes so far as to call 
Callao, and the plains Tiahuanacu, in lat. 17° 10' south, the cen- 
tre of the first civilization of mankind.* 

The traditions of the Indians, it is extremely difficult, or utter- 
ly impossible to ascertain the dates of. Their history, nor their 
chronology is neither of them known. Still, the Mexicans had 
hieroglyphical writings, which are preserved in Mexico, and we 
do not despair of their yet being decyphered. Those Indians 
whose traditions were, that they came from the north, appear to 
have been located in the United States, and in New Spain. And 
they might have not extended further back than the time of their 
great grandfathers, or not at any rate to remote antiquity. Those 
who questioned them under an impression that they must have 
come from the north, would have been probably satisfied, without 
taking any very great pains to ascertain whether they referred to 
a time recent or remote. 

The remarkable ruins which have been just noticed, are situa- 
ted between the cities of Cuzco and la Paz, near a small interi- 
or sea, called the lake Chucuito. The august grandeur of these 
antiquities, may be considered as the Palmyra, or Balbec of the 
Western continent. But the palace of Mitla, or mourning, is 
further north ; and it is in this that decorations of small porphyry 
stones, wrought into mosaical work, are found. Mosaic-work, 

* Travels Vol. ii. p. 347. 


indicates the art of cutting and polishing small and hard stones, 
in a high degree of perfection. The artists of the present day, 
could not conceive of this being done, (as the little stones, of va- 
rious colors, are cut square,) without steel tools, of first rate ex- 
cellence and temper. The Mexicans had not found out the use 
of iron and steel ; but they had two kinds of copper, the one 
kind soft and flexible, and the other kind hard and resisting, out 
of which their edge tools were made. And here, it may be ob- 
served, that the stones of different regions vary in their degrees 
of hardness. The stones of the United States exceed in hard- 
ness those of England, in a great degree, which will account for 
the English erecting stone structures, with more facility and at 
less expense, than can be done here. Porphyry, like granite, 
may differ in different places as to its degrees of hardness. 

In this building, the palace of Mitla, it appears that all the 
beauties of mosaic work are found, such as Greeques, Arabes- 
ques, labyrinths, and meanders ; and the same design which 
pleases the eye in those vases called Tuscan. But they called 
to mind in the Baron Humboldt, what he had witnessed at Rome, 
near the grotto of the nymph Egira, in the frise of the old tem- 
ple Deus Redicolus. 

If it be possible that the Mexicans could, as it relates to the 
mosaic work, have had any intercourse with Rome, or any artist 
from thence, it must have been in very remote times ; for this 
temple of Deus Redicolos, written more properly Rediculus, was 
erected by the Romans so long ago as the invasion of Rome by 
Hannibal, who died B. C. 182 years. The name of this deity, 
of Roman imagination, is derived from redire, to return. And 
the Romans raised this temple on the spot from which Hannibal 
had retired, when he approached the city of Rome to besiege it, to 
the god Retire, or Deus Rediculus. 

Such is what some might deem a connecting link between 
Rome and Mexico ! 

§ 34. That any nation should have incurred the immense 
labor of cutting the hardest stones into little squares, in such im- 
mense quantities as would be needed to adorn such a building, is 
seemingly wonderful. Such an instance points to a period when 


time and money must have been at command in great profusion, 
for both would have been required for a great many other purpo- 
ses at the same time. 

Our own treasury is to be sure overflowing at present, with be- 
tween forty and fifty millions, for which our government have no 
use ; but this is a very unusual state of things, in any republic or 
monarchy, ancient or modern. If, however, it was at the disposal 
of one man of absolute power, it would be easy for him to erect 
expensive buildings, and to adorn them with mosaic w^orlc. 

But such a coincidence relating to so singular a fact, between 
Rome and Mexico, should not, when taken by itself, hastily lead 
us to conclude that there was any intercommunication, in the 
days of Hannibal. We should as soon think of referring this 
matter to a common origin, and Egypt as its source ; for not Ro- 
mans and Mexicans, but the Greeks also, adorned their edifices 
with mosaic work ; and we have historical evidence that the lat- 
ter nation derived much of their knowledge from the ancient 

And we are also told of this singular edifice, the palace of 
3Iitla, that there is a striking analogy in the distribution of its 
apartments, to what was observed in the monuments of Upper 
Egypt, by M. Denon, of which he has furnished drawings. We 
have now before us what is known of this palace — that its orna- 
ments resemble those of the Romans, Greeks, and Arabians, and 
the division of its apartments, those of Upper Egypt. A palace 
still standing in New Spain, in our own native North America, the 
sight of which is worth a voyage across the Atlantic, and yet 
mentioned by few. Unvisited by those who are crossing the At- 
lantic to take a view of curiosities there, of less interest — unvisit- 
ed by our own countrymen who go to Mexico. 

§ 35. There is reason to conclude, that when the Indians 
completed one of their mounds, that it was of a pyramidical 
shape, and that those with flat tops had not received all the bodies 
that were intended. It has been therefore supposed, that the an- 
cient nation who buried their dead in this manner, were suddenly 
extirpated, or driven away. Some mounds, with their tops in the 
form of pyramids, having been opened in Ohio, particles of bones 


were found, but all in the last stage of decay ; whilst others, 
which were contiguous, with flat tops, were examined, and skele- 
tons discovered in a state of better preservation, as if more re- 
cently deposited. 

The evidence increases by information from different quarters, 
that whatever may have been the design of the ditches, and walls, 
that the mounds were places of sepulture ; but why these sepul- 
chres were sometimes outside of the walls, and sometimes inclo- 
sed by them, is not clear. 

There is one of these inclosures on the Scioto, about three 
miles from Chilicothe, Ohio, so ancient that the walls are so de- 
cayed, as almost to be on a level with the adjacent ground. It is 
circular, and about a mile in circumference, and incloses from 
twelve to fifteen mounds. Near this circular fort are several 
smaller ones, also circular. 

Although the mounds differ in different places in the west, 
somewhat in shape, we have not learned of any fortification 
there, of any other form than circular. There is one thing wor- 
thy of notice, that in one of those mounds, on the Scioto, the 
heads of the skeletons were uniformly found lying towards the 
west. It may be also noticed, that upon descending about two 
feet, that the earth was mixed with charcoal, and it has hence 
been inferred that these ancient bodies were buried on a funeral 
pile. But it is improbable that the bodies were burned, for if so, 
how could the bones have appeared in strata with their heads 
lying towards the west? The mound that was opened with the 
heads thus situated, was about twenty yards in circumference, and 
six or seven feet in height, and was one which was not within the 

§ 36. It does not appear that the Indians of New England 
disposed of their dead in any other manner than by burying them 
in the earth. We have visited the burying ground where the Mo- 
hegan chiefs were interred. During the great gale of 1815, there 
was a part of the bank of Narragansett bay washed away, and 
some Indian skeletons exposed. These were as recent as the 

fc SeeMed.Rep. Vol. xii. p. 87. 


coining of the English, however, as there were remains of wool- 
len blankets, in which the bodies had been wrapped. They 
sometimes deposited their dead in natural caves, where they have 
been found in Kentucky and Pennsylvania. The present writer 
examined some cloth, in the possession of Mr. Gratz, of Phila- 
delphia, which was found enveloping the remains of a dead body 
in a cave, upon land owned by that gentleman, in the state of 
Kentucky. This cloth was woven by the threads being tied to- 
gether in knots, at a little distance apart, apparently by the 
fingers. It points to an era more distant than the present race, 
as they had not, north of Mexico, any cloth of any kind, when 
they were first visited by Europeans. 

One of the bodies found in one of the caves in Kentucky, was, 
by the quality of the soil, so preserved, as to be in the state of a 
mummy ; the skin and flesh not being decayed, but only shrivel- 
ed and dried. 

Indians carry off and conceal the bodies of their dead, which 
fall in battle, unless the scalp is taken off, in which case they let 
them remain. The reason is, that when the scalp is taken off 
they cannot conceal the death of the warrior ; and as it is always 
their aim to make the number of their slain appear as few as 
possible, they remove from the battle ground those who fall, so 
that their enemies may remain in ignorance as to the numbers 
which they have lost. It is also an object of the utmost policy to 
keep from the knowledge of their enemy, the actual number of 
their living warriors. And this they have hitherto done so effect- 
ually, that in all their numerous wars with the whites, from Brad- 
dock's defeat, to the present Seminole war, that neither before 
hostilities commenced, nor in the time of them, nor in the peace 
succeeding, could the amount of their fighting men ever be ex- 
actly known. 

§ 37. As to the general customs of the Indians, there is con- 
siderable variation among the different tribes ; and in order to 
know them with precision, we must know what their habits were 
before they had much intercourse with the whites. 

From the best information, they are in their aboriginal state, 
theoretically, and in general practically, a moral people. Dr. 


Williams, in his History of Vermont, clears their character of 
lying and falsehood, which he tells us were viewed with horror 
and that they had no name for adultery and rape. 

Edwards, in his History of the West Indies, tells of an old 
Carribee Indian, who imputed the increase of hurricanes, and 
the other miseries of the Indians, to their having become almost 
as bad as the whites. 

An Indian in conclusion of a speech to Gen. Washington said, 
We know that you are very strong — we have heard you are wise, 
but we shall wait to hear your answer to this, that we may know 
you are just. They called Gen. Washington the town destroyer. 
Columbus swore to their Spanish majesties, that there was not a 
better people in the world, more affectionate, affable, or mild. 
De las Casas, Bishop of Chapia, attests to the innocence of the 
Indians, and to the wickedness of the Spaniards. Another wri- 
ter says of them, that they appeared to be fulfilling the scripture, 
in taking no thought for the morrow. Indeed, there is a general 
agreement among those who have delineated the Indian charac- 
ter, that they are, in the words of the historian of Vermont, free 
from all that train of infamous and unmanly vices, which arise 
from avarice. The like attestation is given by a French writer, 
of the Indians living high up on the Missouri river. This wri- 
ter's account of them is worth noticing in some other respects. 
It was written originally in French. The manuscript was put 
into the hands of my friend, the late Dr. Mitchell, of New York, 
who translated and published it. 

Subordination and family government seem to be entirely lack- 
ing. They are creatures of the present, and think little of the 
past or the future, unless to revenge an injury or insult. These 
Missouri tribes, unlike most others, had no priests ; but they have 
a natural turn for gravity, and are very cautious both in word and 
action. Their old men seem to be substitutes for priests. They 
have happy memories, and some of them can relate most of the 
incidents of their lives. Their old men are their preachers in one 
sense, for they admonish the young men daily ; and refer them 
to the Master of Life, as loving the man that is peaceable, rea- 
sonable, liberal, generous towards his friends, and courageous 
against his enemies. They advise the young men to marry 


early, and condemn those who seduce married women, to which 
they refer the origin of the greatest disturbances among the red 
men. They have a singular kind of polygamy, for if a man 
marries a wife who has several younger sisters, he commonly 
marries each one as she becomes marriageable, till he marries the 
whole. This is in contravention of the law of Moses, which 
forbade a man to marry his wife's sister, to vex his wife, so long 
as she lived. 

But there is another Indian custom very much in conformity 
with the Jewish law, and which is mentioned in three or four dif- 
ferent places in the Bible, and which, although not always follow- 
ed by the Indians, yet it was followed on the Missouri, by those 
who strictly regarded their ancient customs. It was that of mar- 
rying the widow of a deceased brother. The law of Moses 
makes no exception to the living brother having a wife already. 
It commands him to marry her, and to raise up seed to his de- 
ceased brother. The Indian custom was to marry a brother's 
widow, if she was young, nor do they appear to have avoided it 
on account of having been already married. 

Their practice of divorcing their wives was frequent, and un- 
ceremonious ; so that by the time a man was thirty years old, he 
probably had had ten wives, and divorced nine of them. The 
facility of divorce among the Jews is well known. It consisted 
merely of writing a bill of divorcement, putting it into his wife's 
hand, and sending her out of the house. But this does not prove 
any thing in common between the Jews and Indians, except the 
hardness of their hearts. All these coincidences may have been 
fortuitous, and accidental. 

The physiognomy of the Indians is not Jewish, but East In- 
dian, or Hindoo, which is said to be the most ancient people on 
earth. It was from the resemblance of the natives of America, 
to the East Indians, that they at first received the name of In- 

Mr. Boudinot, in his anxiety to prove the natives to have been 
the descendants of the lost ten tribes, runs into an error, and 
makes his book contradict itself— in the fore part of which he 
tells us, that these lost ten tribes, were lost before the crucifixion ; 


whilst in the latter part he speaks of the miseries of the Indians, 
as arising from their having been concerned in that event ! 

The fact is, that at that era, the Jews had not the power of life 
and death in their own hands. Their government was in the 
hands of the Romans, and they were a conquered people, and 
in a legal point of view, the Romans were those who executed the 
laws, however criminal the Jews may have been as accusers, and 
false witnesses. Besides, crucifying was a Roman, and not a 
Jewish method of inflicting death. At any rate, all the remains 
of the twelve tribes, at that time in Judea, was the tribe of Judah, 
and the half tribe of Benjamin. So little do some know of 
sacred history, who write on sacred subjects. 

§ 38. A French writer, Jean Baptiste Trudeau, thinks that 
the accounts given of the Indians by their priests, Jesuits, and 
Recollects, are contradictory, and very little to be relied on. As 
to himself, he had learned their language, and resided among 
them, as well as travelled in their country, and therefore had an 
opportunity to correct the misstatements of those once supposed 
saints — misstatements, which he supposes that they had particu- 
lar inducements to publish to the world. We fear that the like 
accusation will lie, with a heavy weight, against some of our 
traders, land speculators, and soldiers. And that very many of 
their accounts are exaggerated, as to their bad qualities, diminish- 
ed as to their good ones, and on the whole, partial and prejudiced, 
as to the Indian character. 

The Indian character is a negation of that of the whites, with 
respect to avarice, ambition, conquest, and jealousy. But it con- 
centrates its positive feature in revenge. And in this respect they 
are devils incarnate. Nor do they, nor will they, discriminate 
between the offender and his companions, or the nation to which 
he belongs. They punish without mercy, and without discrimi- 
nation of age, or sex. 

The hospitality of these Upper Missourians, the Panis, Man- 
danes, and Ricaras, to their own distinguished countrymen, and 
especially to the white men, exceeds that of any other people in 
the known world — although something of the same kind may 
have been found elsewhere among other Indian tribes. It is the 


offer of their youngest and handsomest women to their visitors, 
even by husbands, parents, and brothers, who importune their 
guests to make free with them. 

They appear to have no such sentiment as jealousy. But this 
is only a partial abnegation, and not universal among all the 

During the menstrual period the women live as secluded as if 
they were infected with plague or small pox. The place she in- 
habits, her food, utensils, and even fire to light a pipe with, no 
one else would resort to, or use for fear of some misfortune. A 
similarity to Jewish customs, may here again be traced. And 
there is one feature to be found in their habits, which we do not 
recollect to have ever read of, except in the account of the Es- 
senes, a sect of Jews, mentioned by Josephus. It is that of the 
entire chastity of the women when they find themselves in a state 
of pregnancy ; all sexual intercourse being then at an end. 

This sect of the Jews, the Essenes, we do not find distinctly 
mentioned in the New Testament ; but whoever reads the account 
of it, as given by Josephus, will be forcibly reminded of many 
Christian rules of conduct, which were most rigidly practiced by 
them. They lived on the borders of the Dead Sea. 

But no inference is to be drawn of a common origin, from casu- 
al coincidences in one or two particulars, when there is a total 
discrepancy in a hundred others. 

Polygamy, as we know, was allowed by the Jews, and even 
ordained, in those contingencies to which we have referred above. 
The Indians and Jews herein agree. But the Indian makes a 
servant of his wife, and he who has a number of wives, has a 
number of slaves, whom he exchanges for others at pleasure. 

Say what we will to them, they will not be convinced that the 
whites are not slaves to the women. This they insist upon. 

As to themselves, they hold the sex very cheap, and say, that 
they cannot carry women with them when they die, and that he 
who quarrels and fights for the possession of a woman, is a fool 
and a madman. 

The woman who permits intercourse with her husband when 
she is pregnant, is considered as behaving foolishly, and as en- 


dangering the life of herself and child. Here the instinct of all 
the inferior animals is observed to be the same. 

They have lying-in hospitals, or huts, to which their women re- 
sort in parturition, but their confinement seldom lasts more than 
two days. And if the woman belongs to a marching party, they 
are not delayed more than half a day. She then marches with her 
young stranger, having however, the assistance of some of her 
friends. They plunge their infants in water the day after they 
are born, whether it be winter or summer. 

They have no very decisive regulations in most of the affairs 
of life, except their hunting laws, which are executed with much 
rigor. Their rule is, to keep together in a line. The man who 
pushes forward of the company, and frightens the game, to the 
detriment of themselves, and of their wives and children at home, 
is punished severely. They beat him with sticks and clubs, cut 
his clothes to pieces, break his weapons, tear down his hut, and 
kill his horses and dogs. And in this respect their chiefs, and 
greatest braves, fare as bad as those in the humblest ranks of life. 

We thus find the marks of a republican government in the New 
World, even amongst these uncontaminated aboriginals. May 
all who breathe its air, inhale the true spirit of equal rights. 

The Indian method of retaining a long speech, is for one to 
pay strict attention to the speaker, till he hears as much as he 
thinks he can retain. He then touches the elbow of his next 
neighbor, who does the same to another of the company, when he 
thinks his memory is fully saturated. And thus different parts of 
a speech is imbibed by different persons, and the whole remem- 
bered by the company, who put their parts together, as occasion 
afterwards requires. They thus make out the whole of what has 
been said in along speech, without mistake or omission. 

There have been accounts published by the Canadian traders, 
of a people who were found six hundred leagues up the Missouri, 
who were white, and had long beards. They have been called 
Welch Indians. This name arose from a tradition among the 
Welch nation, that a colony of their people, at some distant peri- 
od, emigrated, and had not since been heard of. The Welch 
seemed disposed to claim these fair, and bearded Missourians, as 


this long lost colony of theirs. Their claim however lacks any 
positive, or even very circumstantial evidence. 

But that a nation exists, very high up this immense river, (which 
is of itself one thousand four hundred miles longer than the At- 
lantic, between America and Europe,) and of a lighter com- 
plexion than the Indians proper, there seems too much evidence 
to deny. 

We have before us, an account given by a French gentleman 
to Samuel Russell, Esq. which has been translated, and from 
which we learn, that an exploring party of Canadians, was stop- 
ped by this people, and compelled to return — and that they were 
as white as the Europeans, and had Jong beards. They would 
not accept any presents, and had a language totally different from 
the Indians, of which the Canadians could understand not a 
single word. The presence of the Canadians appeared to give 
great uneasiness, and when they attempted to pursue their voyage 
further up the Missouri, this strange people rose in arms, and 
compelled them to descend. 

Some travellers from the United States, appear to have after- 
wards, however, been more successful in their intercourse, and to 
have become more particularly acquainted with them. But fur- 
ther knowledge is necessary, before any definite conclusion can 
be formed as to who and what they are. Our conjecture is, that 
they may turn out to be a branch of some one of the earliest 
French colonies in Canada.* 

The Arabians are savages who have the Old World's wreck of 
knowledge and letters in their hands. Hence, they sometimes 
display a dignified sentiment, and disclose an useful invention. 

But there is nothing in the mental, mechanical, or physical 
condition of the American aboriginals, to lead to a conclusion that 
they had ever had any connection with a more cultivated people. 
We mean here to be understood to except the Mexicans, and have 
particularly in view the natives of the United States, who did not 
appear to have, or to have had, any connection with the inhabi- 
tants of Mexico, or with those further south. There is not a 

* The Canadians not being able to understand a word of their language, is, 
however, adverse to this hypothesis. 



single fact that points to such a connection. We formerly thought 
that the potatoe did. But we find that this useful vegetable was 
not used by the Mexicans, nor cultivated in Mexico, when the 
country was first discovered — although it was found further south, 
in Chili, Peru, and on all the Cordillera of the Andes. Nor was 
the potatoe found north of Virginia, but was there found, and from 
thence carried to England, by Sir Walter Raleigh ; and to Ire- 
land, from the bay of Albemarle, in 1586. Virginia may there- 
fore lay claim to it as a product of her soil, primarily. And 
although she may not now in her soil find it growing wild, yet 
such was the fact as regards most of South America. The moun- 
tains of Peru and Chili were, however, exceptions. 

The Baron Humboldt tells in his travels, what will appear 
wonderful to us, who have observed how completely the potatoe is 
ruined by exposure to frost. He says that the Mexicans and 
Peruvians can preserve potatoes for whole years, by exposing them 
to the frost, and drying them in the sun. He tells of having seen 
them in a spherical form, of from twelve to thirteen inches in 

Had the potatoe been found in Mexico, we might the easier 
conceive of its having been transferred from thence to Virginia, 
and of its being an aboriginal product of Peru or Chili. As it is, 
we may designate Virginia, as the native soil of that species of 
solanum — that which we cultivate in the United States, and which 
was carried to Europe. There are other species of it in South 
America, which have not reached us. 

Sir Walter Raleigh first introduced both potatoes and tobacco 
into Europe. And of the latter, Queen Elizabeth granted him 
the monopoly. 

It is not a trait of human nature, unworthy of notice, that to- 
bacco outran the potatoe in its adoption and use among the in- 
habitants of Europe. Even the sober Germans, learned to love 
the narcotic weed, before they learned to cultivate the esculent 
and excellent potatoe. In France, the latter were first raised for 
the sake of their blossoms ! 

The French people paid no regard to an American vegetable, 
more valuable than her gold mines, until on a court day, Louis 

* Vol. II. p. 351. As big as a largest sized pumpkin ! 


XIV. wore its blossom suspended from the button-hole of his 
coat. This gave the impulse to that flowery people. To pos- 
sess the flower they cultivated the fruit. That penetrating mon- 
arch knew the road to the hearts and judgment of his imaginative 
subjects, who invented the ruffle — although the John Bulls assert 
that they made an improvement upon this French invention, by 
adding the shirt. 

It is a curious fact in the history of the potatoe, that the 
sweet potatoe, (Convolvulus Battatas,) was known in England 
before it. This latter had the reputation of restoring decayed 
vigor, like the Eringo root. And it is to this that Shakspear 
refers in the following line. 

" Let the sky rain Potatoes, hail kissing Comfits, and snow Eringoes." 

Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 5. 

Our common table potatoes, (Solanum Tuberosum,) were de- 
nominated, to distinguish them from the sweet potatoe, Virginia 
potatoes. They were at first considered a luxury, rather than an 
article of every day diet, in England. Ireland preceded England 
in the general use and culture of potatoes, although they were 
brought to England first.* 

Eleven years after their first introduction into Ireland, we find 
them noticed in the herbal of Gerard, (1597,) as a delicate dish.t 

It is a curious fact that in Austria the stalk of the potatoe pro- 
duces a cottony kind of flax, and is considered a textile plant ; 
whilst in Sweden, sugar is extracted from its tubers. And its 
balls, or top-apples, yield vinegar by fermentation, or spirit by 
being distilled. 

§ 39. That extraordinary plant, tobacco, was unknown to 
the world prior to the discovery of America. It is considered by 
some as the essence of essences, as it is relished after food of all 
kinds. After the rarest viands, the finest fruits, and richest wines ; 
and even after eggs, milk, tea, coffee, and honey. 

We are told that smoking was first introduced into England by 
Sir Walter Raleigh. 

* See the Pharmacologia of the excellent Dr. Paris, Vol. 1, p. 59. + 96. 


Snuff was prohibited by a decree of Pope Urban VIII. to be 
taken in church, under pain of excommunication, in 1624. 

In 1634, smoking was forbidden in Russia, under the penalty 
of having the nose cut off. 

King James I. wrote what he called a Counter blaste to To- 
bacco. In this the royal author informs his subjects, that smok- 
ing, " is a custome loathsome to the eye, hateful to the the nose, 
harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the lungs ; and in the blacke 
stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Sti<nan 
smoake of the pit that is bottomlesse."* 

We are told by Dr. Paris, that in 1653, the Council of the 
Canton of Appenzel, cited smokers before them, whom they pun- 
ished ; and that they ordered all inn-keepers to inform against 
such as were found smoking in their houses. And that in Bern, 
in 1661, the police regulations were divided after the manner of 
the Ten Commandments — the prohibition of smoking, being 
placed immediately after the command against adultery. 

Even in its native continent, tobacco did not pass without cen- 
sure, discountenance, and prohibition. The blue-laws of Con- 
necticut prohibited smoking within less than two miles of any 
inhabited dwelling house. 

Still, the attachment to it became so great, that it is the staple 
commodity of the largest state in the Union — Virginia. It is ex- 
ported in large quantities to the Old World, and extensively used 
by all classes in the New. 

An army suffering from cold, want of food, and want of clothes, 
has been known to complain more for the want of tobacco than 
of all its other privations. It is the principal luxury of the sea- 
man, the soldier, the manufacturer, the laborer, and the idler. 

The Arab of the burning desert, and the Laplander and Esqui- 
maux of the arctic regions, the king, the priest, and the physi- 
cian, have all at length bowed their heads to its fascinating influ- 
ence, and have proved by their money, and even by the risk of 
their lives, their devotion and attachment to its pleasing, and 
soothing, and anti-dyspeptic effects. 

Its essential oil, and Nicotin, are poisonous principles. And 
it contains nitre, by which its inflammability is increased. 

* Pharmacologia, Vol. I. pa. 48, 49, of Dr. Paris. 


Dr. Rush mentions two persons who smoked on a wager, 
and both died — one in smoking his seventeenth, and the other 
his eighteenth pipefull. 

Moderate smoking after meals, greatly promotes digestion, and 
prevents dyspepsia. 

Of snuff, which is so extensively used to titilate the nose, the 
medical philosopher, nor the natural philosopher, has never been 
able to discover the utility, except in pleasurable sensation. And 
yet, the present writer once had a distinguished gentleman under 
his care whom he advised to discontinue the practice of snuffing, 
to which he had Jong been in the habit. But he was afterwards 
obliged to change his advice, and to recommend to his patient to 
resume the practice, from finding him grow more unwell by its 
discontinuance. He was not, however, very ill, but resumed the 
practice with pleasure, and benefit to his health, so far as related 
to a catarrhal affection, which became worse by the disuse of the 

Snuff may, therefore, be useful in catarrhal affections, some 
degree of which is very common in our very variable climate. 
Perhaps, after all, the strangest thing in the history of tobacco is, 
that it is adopted by the Chinese — a nation which very rarely 
adopt any foreign custom whatever. 

§ 40. At the time of the recession of the waters, after the 
general deluge, the earth, for a considerable depth, must have 
been in a semifluid state. It is easy therefore to see how the 
immense plains of the Jerseys, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the Caro- 
lina3, Georgia, and the Floridas, were formed. But this process, 
upon a small scale, is constantly going on at the mouth of all 
large rivers, and with these our country abounds. 

Gov. Pownal transcribes an extract from a letter of Monsieur 
Vandreuil, the Governor of Louisiana, dated Sept. 28, 1752, 
which states, that there is infinite difficulty in settling towards the 
mouth of the river Mississippi, on account of the immense ex- 
pense in banking against the inundations of the sea and land 
floods. And he says, that he is against settling it as yet, and 
that he is for waiting until the ground is more and more raised 


by the accretion of soil, as it has been three feet in the space of 
fifteen years. 

§ 41. But why do things of similar kinds appear congregated 
together in alluvions'? Why are mines of trees, beds of fish bones, 
pebbles, and stones of nearly the same size found in a row, or in 
the same strata, and not indiscriminately huddled and mixed 
together "? Some rocky shores on the Atlantic, which we have 
visited, have the marks of the sea, agitated by a most powerful 
wind, or tornado, on the moveable small rocks and stones, piled 
slantingly up, at some unknown period. And we were struck 
with the phenomenon of the similarity of size in these rows of 
rocks and stones. 

We have noticed the same alluvial law upon a field of grain, 
or rather a field where grain had grown, after a heavy shower 
which formed hills and brooks, soon after harvest. The stubble, 
the chaff, the light and immature seeds, and the full and ripe 
grain, were not indiscriminately mixed, but at least, partially, as- 
sorted ; and were prone, each to congregate with its own kind, as 
the little eddies had subsided. 

We must refer to two laws, the one the law of gravity, and the 
other the law of projectiles, to account for these phenomena. 

Bodies of the same specific gravity will swim equally fast, or 
sink equally quick, all things alike, in the same element. They 
will of course, if seeds or chaff, be cast ashore together. We once 
saw this exemplified upon a larger scale. In the time of the 
great gale in September, 1815, two sloops of about the same size, 
and driven from the same wharf, followed each other ashore into 
the same little nook, where the waters were driven by the same 
gale, into a little valley adjoining the harbor, which was before 
dry land. 

The sight was curious, to see them thus following each other, 
as though guided by skillful mariners, into port, when there was 
no one on board. 

It is a law of projectiles, that the same force will throw the same 
weight, the same distance. The same force, in wind and waves, 
would therefore drive stones of the same weight into the same 
row, on shore. And as stones of the same weight, when lying in 


the same locality, are likely to be something of the same size, and 
to gravitate equally, we hence account for rocks and stones of 
similar sizes, on the sea shore lying in the same line, the same 
distance from the sea. And the same principle will apply exten- 
sively in the interior floods.* 

§ 42. The fact that the mountains of America, having sea 
shells on them, and in them, were once covered by the ocean, is 
assumed by Mr. Evans. But he thinks it hazardous to positively 
assert how it has happened that the sea and land have taken each 
other's places. He conjectures that the sea barriers may have 
been broken away by natural causes, or may have been worn 
away, in an immense number of ages. He thinks that in what- 
ever manner this part of our continent may have been disburden- 
ed of its immense load of waters, that the place that they occu- 
pied would rise, by a change of the centre of gravity ; and that 
a directly opposite part of the earth, would, by the operation of a 
part of the same cause, sink and become depressed. 

This latter fact, in support of his theory, he finds evidence of, 
in the Chinese Chorography, relating to Corea, in which it is said, 
that in ancient times a mountain, which once joined the continent, 
has now near five hundred leagues of sea intervening. As to the 
truth of which, the authorities adduced, and names given, bear 
internal evidence. 

We might quote these names as vouchers, but we fear that our 
readers would wish of us, as Voltaire did of his Russian, or Ger- 
man correspondent — that he had more wit, and fewer consonants. 
We therefore omit the names, although their being originally 
given corroborates the fact. 

§ 43. Was the earth an immense plain, or were it a globe 
standing still, and liable only to be moved by shifting of a weight 
from one side of it to the other, this change of gravity could be 
more easily comprehended. But when we consider it as a ball 

* This principle may be applied to the formation of the pebble-beach at 
Memel, in Polish Prussia, the longest in Europe — and to that of the Chesil- 
bank, near Portland Island, the longest in England. 


revolving upon its own axis, once in twenty-four hours, and con- 
stantly in a rapid whirl, this change of gravity, elevating one part 
of it, and depressing another, is not so easy to conceive. 

We incline to think that our continent must have been drained 
by the burning out of a part of the combustibles of the internal 
globe ; by which what now forms the bottom of the sea, sank 
lower ; or that an earthquake, or a succession of earthquakes, 
must have produced the catastrophe ; earthquakes being known 
to depress the solid land, and to permit the sea to rush over it, of 
which the sinking of Port Royal, in Jamaica, was a noted and 
melancholy instance. City, citizens, and soil, all sank into the 
sea at once. The idea of the draining of the ancient sea bed, 
must be accompanied by the supposition that this bed was higher 
than the land on to which the sea flowed, or higher than the other 
seas into which it ran. But Mr. Evans makes this rising of the 
ancient seabed, a consequence of the waters having run off, and 
not a cause of their running off.* 

We cannot conceive of the present ocean being drained, be- 
cause we know of no depressed or sunken region, into which the 
waters could run. Admitting the popular opinion to be true, that 
the Atlantic is higher than the Pacific, we cannot admit that the 
elevation of the former is any thing more than partial, owing to 
the trade winds piling the waters up in the gulf of Mexico, and 
against the eastern shores of the New World. At, and south of 
Cape Horn, if these oceans do not lose their distinctive names, 
they certainly lose their inequalities of surface. 

We cannot possibly entertain the most distant idea, that if the 
isthmus of Darien was cut through, that the Atlantic bottom 
would become dry land ; nor that the present shores would be 
materially elongated on the coasts of it. Such notions are better 
fitted for Utopian visionaries, than for men of sober science. 

* We are disposed to think that some of the references which we have made 
to Gov. Pownal, justly belong to Mr. Lewis Evans, a surveyor, and early con- 
structor of a map of what are now the middle states. Of this map he gave an 
analysis; the first edition of which was published at Philadelphia, in 1749. A 
second edition appeared there in 1755, from the shop of B. Franklin, and D. 
Hall. In 1776, Gov. Pownal gave a new edition of Evans' map, with large 
additions, and a topographical description of such parts of North America as it 
related to. This was published in London. See N. Y. Med. Rep. for 1609. 


But even admitting that a part of our globe, when by any 
means an ocean was drained from it, would rise, and become 
higher than it was when it was a bed of the sea, this would do 
nothing towards accounting for some parts of this ancient sea- 
bottom being found in the mountains, and other parts in valleys. 
We know that this appearance of mountains and valleys, has 
been attempted to be explained by the supposition that the run- 
ning off of the waters caused them. But what should make 
water run swift on a plain and level surface, so as to cut gullies 
four thousand feet deep, and scoop out vallies hundreds of miles 
wide, like that of the Mississippi ? 

These mountains and vallies would surely be needed, to make 
or to have made the waters run off with such a current as to make 
a plain surface assume such great elevations and depressions. 

The waters of countries extensively plain, as the Tonawanda 
creek, in the Genesee country, run with so moderate a current, 
that the traveller who is a stranger, is obliged to inquire, or to find 
out from some other source than the motion of the stream itself, 
which way the waters are running. This we know from our 
own experience. We were there, however, when the waters were 

Besides, if the waters ran off with such a forcible and irresist- 
ible power, why did they not carry off those sea shells, and other 
animal exuviae, which according to Mr. Evans and others, are 
found on mountain tops 1 

We do know that some high mountains present no marks of 
volcanic origin ; and we likewise know, that some coral eleva- 
tions, beneath the sea, owe their structure and altitude to little 
animals. We must refer elevations beneath the sea, which are 
not volcanic, to animals ; and their great height to the immensity 
of time which the sea submersed them, and the animals had to 
construct them in. The Bahama islands, Cuba, the Florida reef, 
are of animal origin, all of them. We must keep in view that 
the materials were not as we find them now, but in a state of soft- 
ness and semi-fluidity. 

§ 44. We would refer ranges of mountains, differing in the 
kind of mineral which composes them, to animals of different 


species ; and cavities and caverns to other submarine inhabitants, 
of still different classes. As the mammoth is extinct, so it may 
be that tribes of insects and vermes have shared the same fate. 
We have seen little circular depressions, in fresh water ponds, 
made by the fish called the roach, and seen these occupants in 
quiet possession of their local habitations. Where there is a de- 
pression, there is always an elevation, and vice versa. 

But that the formation of mountains cannot be referred to the 
flood of Noah, is certain, for we are told of the existence of 
mountains before the flood ; and we are told that the ark rested 
on mount Ararat, which is of so high an altitude as to have its 
top always covered with snow and ice. To the top of this emi- 
nence, professor Parrot, a Russian gentleman, ascended a few 
years ago, with immense labor, and erected a cross upon the 
highest peak. 

§ 45. It has been made a question, what could have become 
of the surplus waters, which covered the mountains in the time 
of the flood. Professor Jamieson it is said, gave up this difficult 
subject in despair. We suppose that seas now in existence con- 
tain them ; and that the fountains of the deep were broken up in 
order to produce that catastrophe ; and that the internal fires of 
the earth, beneath the sea, burnt with such volcanic violence, as 
to raise the sea bottom, as it raised the earth in the formation of 
the vulcan Jurillo, in New Spain, 'of which we have given an 
account from the Baron Humboldt. 

We will further suppose that the intensity of this fire, beneath 
the antediluvian seas, was so great as to evaporate the waters into 
steam, and thus cause them to ascend into the atmosphere, by 
which clouds were formed, which descended in rain of forty days 
and forty nights continuance ; and that at the recession of the 
waters, after the cessation of the rain, that the action of the fire 
had abated ; and as the waters ran off, that the bottom of the sea 
sank even lower than it had ever before been ; a part of the com- 
bustible materials having been consumed, afforded room for a 
greater depression. Besides, we do not know that the seas before 
the flood, covered three-fifths of the surface of the globe, as they 
do at present. If it is admitted that any extra waters were crea- 


ted, in order to flood the earth, we are at liberty to suppose that 
the surface of the bed of the sea was enlarged for their accom- 
modation, afterwards. And we are at liberty to suppose that im- 
mense quantities of water exist in combination with solid matters, 
as in trees, plants, animals, and in the atmosphere also, which 
did not exist in these locations, before the flood. And we may 
suppose also that seas are much increased in depth since the 
flood, by the sinking of the bottom of the sea, in consequence, as 
before noticed, of the deflagration of the combustibles beneath it. 
And we may add, by the washing of the sands upon their shores. 

The existence of immense sandy deserts in Africa, Arabia, and 
other countries, may have once added to the extent of the ante- 
diluvian sea-beds, and made the ocean shallow. We do not, 
therefore, admit that infidelity can draw any kind of support, as it 
has attempted to do, from the difficulty of accounting for the dis- 
posal of the diluvian waters. 

The breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, we sup- 
pose, was that of the breaking out of volcanoes beneath the sea, 
and turning the ocean into steam. Steam made clouds, and 
clouds descended in rain. Clouds are water. When they de- 
scend in rain, we see no more of them. The sky becomes clear, 
the clouds are under foot. 

§ 46. There is a region where the attraction of gravitation is 
equal, and consequently a body placed in it, will remain at rest 
until the equilibrium is destroyed. When this happens, the body 
may gravitate towards the sun, moon, or earth, as it happens to be 
propelled by the force that pushed it out of its stationary posture. 
We can hardly doubt that any one who has seen the process of a 
bit of iron being burned, and turned into sparks, by a blow-pipe, 
will doubt of the process by which shooting stars visit our system 
and sio-ht. We suppose that the same intensity of heat is produ- 
ced in the heavens, upon a large scale. Hence stones fall in a 
vitrified state. As to the fixed position of the stones, whilst vitri- 
fying, and the iron whilst burning, there is no difficulty in assign- 
ing them to that region of equal attraction, which exists high up 
in the heavens ; nor of comprehending how the process of defla- 
gration destroys the equality of their fixed spot of attraction, by 


pushing them aside, and then they fall to the earth. The same 
principle may be applied to clouds, which do not descend in rain. 
They are so equally attracted, that the earth does not draw their 
vapors, and steam-like particles together into drops, and then at- 
tract those drops down to its surface, as it does when it rains. 
Hence "it rains out of low clouds, but does not rain out of very 
high ones. 

§ 47. Of Creation. Aristotle believed the world to be eter- 
nal, and others have held the same opinion, for the reason that 
they could not conceive how something could have been created 
out of nothing. But if we appeal only to philosophy, and leave 
out of the question all history, sacred and profane, how does it 
obviate the dilemma ? Is it not just as difficult for us to compre- 
hend how matter should have existed of itself, from all eternity, 
as it is, how it should have been created out of nothing, at a cer- 
tain time 1 We think that the difficulty is rather increased than 
lessened by such a supposition. If there was no system, no 
plan, no design, no intelligent agent, how should any order, regu- 
larity or system, ever have been acquired ? Why should sun, 
moon, stars, earth, and oceans, keep their places and not become 
a heterogeneous and uninhabitable mass "? 

Besides, if one kind of matter was eternal, why are not other 
kinds the same 1 Why is the earth eternal, and men, beasts, 
birds and fish, mortal ? And if it be replied, that the death of 
animals, and the decay of trees, is no annihilation of matter, but 
only a change of material forms, we respond to the truth of the 
opinion ; but would then inquire, why the heavenly bodies, and 
the earth itself do not follow the same rule ? If nothing but 
matter guides the universe, and if universal nature, and all its 
materials, be but an unconscious aggregation of atoms, why do 
they differ — why are there rubies and roses, the Nile and the 
nightingale, the bee and the bullock 1 Why should not the acorn 
produce the elm, and the elephant give birth to the ox? Why 
should not the honey-suckle throw out some branches and flow- 
ers of the poison tree ? 

Although all nature teaches that there is an intelligent and su- 
preme First Cause, who created the universe, yet it is not a little 


remarkable, that no writer, sacred or profane, goes any farther 
back than the arrangement of our system, from chaos. 

Moses is the most ancient writer which the world knows with 
certainty ; and the computed chronology of his birth is only 1571 
years before the Christian era. Some have supposed that Hesiod 
and Homer were cotemporary with Moses, but the most common 
computation makes them 664 years later, which brings the time 
in which they flourished to only 907 years before our present 

Moses and Hesiod speak of the creation. Hesiod says that, 
In the beginning of things the Chaos iv as created. 

Chaos, is the mass of matter supposed to have been in a state 
of confusion, before it was reduced to order. If Moses was the 
earliest of all writers, we must refer to him as the first who as- 
serted that there was a chaos, which he does in the second verse 
of the first chapter of Genesis. 

Upon this subject the Rev. Mr. Buck says, that Moses " derives 
the origin of this world from a confusion of matter, dark, void, 
deep, without form, which he calls Tohu Bohu ; which is pre- 
cisely the chaos of the Greek and barbarian philosophers." 

Mr. Buck adds that " Moses goes no farther than the chaos, nor 
tells us whence it took its origin, or whence its confused state ; 
and where Moses stops, there precisely do all the rest."* 

We like to refer this important subject to an author of reputa- 
tion, and a professional man, whom we may rest assured, exam- 
ined the matter in all its bearings. 

* See Buck's Theological Dictionary, Art. Chaos." 




§ 1. Superstition forms a curious part of the history of man. 
It has not been confined to men of weak minds and slender 
talents. Even the great Sir Isaac Newton, studied alchymy, and 
with his relation, Dr. Newton, set up furnaces, and both were for 
several months engaged in search of the philosophers tincture. 

Sir Isaac also requested a friend of his to inquire after a strange 
fellow in Holland, by the name of Borry, who was supposed to 
possess valuable secrets, and always dressed in green. And with 
his own pen Sir Isaac made copious extracts from the writings of 
Jacob Behmen, and other writers, of unearthly, but not of heav- 
enly mould.* 

Superstition is often ridiculed, and as often felt at times by 
those who laugh at it. It seems equally common to men of com- 
mon and of uncommon abilities, and perhaps fools alone, can 
plead entire exemption from its sway. And so long as our race 
continues, and events continue to occur which cannot be explain- 
ed, nor accounted for, by the power of reason, nor by the princi- 
ples of philosophy, nor by the consonance of experience, we 
may despair of being ever able to say that its empire has ended. 

* Life by David Brewster, L. L. D., F. R. S., chap. xvii. 


There are few general rules without some exceptions ; but 
what those few are, we feel fond of ascertaining. All sweeping 
conclusions, from which there is no appeal, ought for the aid of 
all arts and sciences, and the general good of mankind, to be as- 
certained. Compared with those from which appeals may be 
taken, they are few indeed, and therefore, the task is the easier 

The tendency to idolatry forms a prominent and striking fea- 
ture in the history of nations. The Jews, even under the Theo- 
cracy, had this most marvellous tendency. The stone on which 
Jacob rested his head, when he dreamed his dream, was by him 
set up for a pillar, anointed with oil, and this remarkable saying 
uttered by him, respecting it ; " And this stone which I have set 
up for a pillar shall be God's house." 

We consider it strange that the patriarch should not have had 
ideas of the Deity more exalted than to have supposed that a 
single stone could have been his habitation. 

" And Joshua said unto all the people, behold this stone shall 
be a witness unto us ; for it hath heard all the words of the 
Lord," &c. 

Samuel also, after a successful battle of Israel against the 
Philistines, took a stone and sat it up, and called the name of it 
Ebenezer, that is, the stone of help. We marvel again what help 
there could be in a stone. 

And we find Rachel carrying away the household gods of her 
father, when she departed with Jacob her husband, for the land 
of Canaan. It would therefore appear, that the founders of the 
Jewish nation, like the Romans, had their household gods. 

But these appearances of idolatry in the chosen people, may 
be in semblance only ; and may only have been intended to de- 
note the more immediate divine presence, as they supposed, in the 
pillar, in the stone, and in the Ebenezer. And we are inclined to 
take this favorable view of idolatry, not only when found among 
the Jews, but as it existed in other nations. As the Divine pres- 
ence was manifested locally, at the city of Jerusalem, where the 
throne of the Jewish kings was called the throne of the Lord, 
and where the child Jesus was carried to be presented to the Lord, 
the prophets and patriarchs imbibed the idea of consecrating 


visible objects, where they had received signal victories over their 
enemies, or other divine favors, to Him, as concentrating- his 
presence. And it is also obvious, that the Greeks did not worship 
their statues, as such, but that they paid their adorations to the 
rational spirits, or souls, which they supposed inhabited them. 
They believed their gods to be very awful, or very amiable, and 
hence they made their statues very beautiful, or very terrible, to 
denote their local habitation in them. This was the case with the 
wiser heathen, but the common people might not make the dis- 

§ 2. As the material man, had a rational soul, the Greeks 
and Romans transferred souls to other material matters. Hills, 
groves, flowers, seas, rivers, woods, earth, fire, the end of afield, 
and the end of a journey, had its god, or spiritual essence. Ter- 
minus, was a Roman divinity, which was supposed to preside over 
bounds and limits, and to punish those who removed landmarks, 
and all usurpers of land. He was very properly represented 
without feet or arms, to denote that he never moved ; but he had 
a human head. It is said that when Tarquin the proud, wished 
to build a temple on the Tarpeian rock, to Jupiter, that Terminus 
refused to give way. 

§ 3. Jewish superstition heard the gospel preached in one 
way, the apostles in another, the Greeks and Romans in ways 
still different, owing to their different ideas. 

§ 4. Sir Isaac Newton's attention was first turned to astrono- 
my by a desire to inquire into judicial astrology ; a pretended 
science, which teaches by the influences of the stars, to foretell 
events by their relative situation and aspects. In one instance, 
therefore, superstition had beneficial effects. What was thus be- 
gun, ended in discoveries the most brilliant ; and as we may well 
suppose, led such a capacious mind as his to discredit judicial 
astrology. On the subject of miracles, we perceive by his letter 
to the celebrated Mr. Locke, that in his opinion, those of good 
credit continued in the church for about two or three hundred 
years. He observes, that Gregory Thaumaturgus, had his name 


from thence, and that he was one of the latest who was eminent 
for that gift. But he declares that of their number or frequency, 
that he was not able to give a just account, and that the history of 
those ages is very imperfect. The conclusion of this letter of the 
author of the Principia, to the author of the Essay on the Hu- 
man Understanding, the two greatest men of the age, is curious, 
as evincing the belief of both, in secret and occult arts. It is in 
these words : — " Mr. Paulin told me you had writ for some of 
Mr. Boyle's red earth, by which I knew you had the receipt. — 
Your most affectionate humble servant, Is. Newton." 

The fact seems to be, that in all ages, certain dealers in myste- 
ries, have been able to conduct them with so much tact and cun- 
ning, and to produce so many witnesses, who would be deemed 
competent in courts of justice, in their favor, that men of the 
highest powers of mind, were staggered. There are those, who 
at the present day, of this description, appear in this predicament, 
respecting craniology and animal magnetism. Such may con- 
sider, that a competent witness is not always a credible one, when 
his testimony comes to be heard ; for it may be so utterly im- 
probable, as to be of little or no weight. Still we do believe, 
that there may be as much at present in favor of animal mag- 
netism, of evidence, as there was in the days of Newton and 
Locke, in favor of astrology, and of the valuable secrets of Mr. 
Borry, of Holland, who always dressed in green, of alchymy, 
and of the philosopher's stone, and tincture. 

And after all, we do not see any reason to discredit what the 
Reverend Mr. Law says, when he asserts, that Newton borrowed 
the doctrine of attraction from what Behmen says in his three first 
propositions of eternal nature. As it is admitted that Sir Isaac 
began his immortal career of astronomical discoveries, under the 
influence of judicial astrology, Mr. Law's assertion seems the 
more probable. And although we are no disciples of either the 
magnetists or craniologists, we feel no disposition to ridicule those 
who are ; not being by any means certain, that valuable and valid 
results may not be arrived at, by paths which appear now to lead 
into the wilderness. 

We feel inclined, however, to place the systems of Gall and of 
Messmer, with those of astrology and alchymy, and with the se-. 


crets of Borry, as to their own intrinsic value ; and that the who^e 
will float away without leaving a plank on shore, to mark the 
place of their wreck, is more than probable. 

There have been many kinds of knowledge of no use of them- 
selves, but which have led to results which have had immense 
utility ; and this, by training the mind to a certain pitch of acute- 
ness, in order to detect the error, or the mystery. The search 
after the philosopher's stone, led to chemical discoveries which 
have been of vast benefit in the arts, and especially in medicine 
and chemistry. 

§ 5. Of knowledge, and of its different kinds, we know of no 
one who has spoken in a better and more pithy manner, than 
Bernard, who is considered the first of the fathers, and who is 
called a saint. He says that, some wish to know, merely for the 
sake of knowing, a mean curiosity. Some wish to know, that 
they themselves may be known, a mean vanity. Some seek for 
knowledge from lucrative motives, an avaricious baseness. Some 
desire to know that they may edify their neighbor, this is charity. 
Others that they may be edified themselves, this is wisdom. 

Of Catholic, or papistical superstition, it is not our design to 
say a great deal, because it would carry us into their whole 
church history. It is remarkable of this cannibal church, that it 
subjected those of its own sect to the prison, the faggot, and the 
steel, for their trifling shades of opinion, when upon all the prin- 
cipal points they were orthodox ; whereas, we do not learn that 
infidels outright, and pagans, fell under its malediction. 

Gallileo was imprisoned for his astronomical opinions, which 
were similar to those of Copernicus, and for certain valuable dis- 
coveries of his own. Lord Cobham was burnt in England, in the 
fifteenth century, because he had adopted the principles of AVick- 
liffe, which were those, or very similar to those, of Luther. One 
of the queries put to his Lordship was, whether he would wor- 
ship the true cross, upon which Christ was crucified. 

Luther, although so generally correct in his principles, always 
held, even after he had reformed others, to the real presence, in 
the eucharist. It is not, however, to our purpose to enter upon 
the subject of religious polemics. 


Of astronomical superstitions, our almanac makers occasion- 
ally put us in mind, by the print of a man's body, and by point- 
ing out the different parts of it, over which the heavenly bodies 
are supposed, especially to preside. This ancient hypothesis of 
astral influence, still holds its empire over some modern minds. 
The fcbris catarrhalis of Hippocrates, has received the modern 
name of influenza, from the supposed influence of the stars in 
producing it. It is to the Italians, that we owe this cognomen. 

Palmistry and fortune-telling are forbidden by a special state 
statute of New York. The fortune-tellers have evaded the law 
by examining the head and its bumps, instead of the palm of the 
hand and its lines. We do not see much difference in the fla- 
grancy of palmistry and phrenology, but perhaps phrenologists 
can point it out. 

When we mention such names as those of Newton and Locke, 
in connection with superstition, it is only to show its universality, 
and that the minds of the wisest men, in private life, like the 
wisest judges on the bench, may sometimes be influenced by false 
witnesses. A man may outrun the world, but he cannot divest 
himself of all the impressions of his childhood, and youth, and 
school-boy days, and nursery tales. No, not even a Bacon, a 
Locke, or a Newton could do this. 

Those seekers for knowledge, whom St. Bernard includes in 
his two last definitions, may, in their wilderness paths of phre- 
nology and animal magnetism, happily stray into other paths, 
which lead to mines of gold and diamonds. And we have no 
reason to suppose that they are not already actuated by the mo- 
tives which that ancient father so happily describes ; although 
their present road may end where that of those did who sought 
after the philosophers stone, of alchymy and judicial astrology. 

The Romans were a very superstitious people. This principle 
among them, was sufficient to turn the course of an army, and to 
dissolve a legislative assembly ; as when a place was burned by 
lightning, or when it thundered. They had the same opinion 
that many others had, and that perhaps some still have, that 
lightning was fire from heaven, and thunder the voice of the 
Most High. 


Sometimes happy results flowed from their dreams and divina- 
tions, as when in the quarrel of Pompey and Crassus, which en- 
dangered the state, Caius Aurelius, who was of the equestrian 
order, ascended the rostra ; and although a man who never inter- 
meddled with state affairs, he now spoke to the people, when they 
were gathered together in full assembly, that Jupiter had appeared 
to him in a dream, and commanded him to acquaint the consuls 
that they must take care to be reconciled before they laid down 
their office. This had the desired effect ; for notwithstanding 
the turn which the contending parties might have given it, for re- 
taining themselves in office, they were reconciled on the spot.* 

Indeed, we owe a very great number of the events, battles, and 
edifices of antiquity, to superstitious, or religious motives. We 
seldom find the heathen deities interfering in love affairs, but of 
almost all other mortal- occurrences, they condescended to take 
notice, and to interpose in some way or other. Those events 
which are considered by Christians, as particular and special 
interpositions of Divine Providence, were by pagans deemed to 
be interpositions of some god ; and two of their gods are often 
brought into notice as acting in contrariety to each other. We 
observe this in the warnings given to Julius Caesar, of his ap- 
proaching assassination, and to Calpurnia, his wife. The win- 
dows and doors flew open as he was in bed, the night preceding 
his death. He was awoke by the noise and light, and beheld 
Calpurnia, in a deep sleep, uttering broken words and inarticu- 
late groans. She dreamed that she was weeping over Caesar, as 
she held him murdered in her arms. Next morning she conjured 
him not to go abroad that day ; and he made up his mind from 
his own impressions, and from her being naturally a woman of 
firmness, and having none of the weakness of superstition, to 
comply. He had also been forewarned by a soothsayer, of the 
great danger which would await him on the ides of March, which 
had now come. He was persuaded, however, by Brutus Albinus, 
in whom he placed much confidence, but who was in reality one 
of the conspirators, to meet his senate. On his way to the senate 
house, he met this same soothsayer, to whom Caesar said, the 

* Plutarch. Life of Pompey. 



ides of March are come. Yes, said the soothsayer, but they 
have not gone. 

He entered the senate, without reading a paper, which was put 
into his hand on the way, announcing the conspiracy, and there 
very soon met his death by being stabbed. He fell, and expired 
at the pedestal of Pompey's statue, which had been secretly in- 
voked by Cassius, before the great attempt. 

Plutarch, therefore, draws the inference, and thinks nothing 
can be clearer than that some deity conducted the whole business, 
and direct 3d that his fall should be at the feet of his great rival 
whom he had conquered, but whose statue he now dyed with his 
expiring blood. The god, therefore, that overruled, and decreed 
that he should go to the senate house, on the ides of March, and 
there be assassinated, and die at the feet of Pompey's statue, could 
not, in pagan opinion, have been the same that inspired the sooth- 
sayer to foretell the danger, and who caused the windows and 
doors to fly open in the night, and who forewarned Calpurnia of 
the event, in a dream. Plutarch inclines to the opinion, that 
although these things might have fallen out by chance, yet that 
his dying in the spot he did, could not be thus referred, but that 
some god must have had a particular agency in this tragic affair. 
He concludes also, that from this instance, and from the repeated 
intimations given by gods and men, to Caesar, of his death, 


the very day it happened, that fate is not so secret as it is in- 

It would seem that the Fates, in the ancient Mythology, were 
greater in some respects, than even Jupiter himself, who was usu- 
ally accounted the king of all the heathen gods. Life, was repre- 
sented by a thread. The Fates* were three sisters, Clotko, 
Lachesis, and Atropos. The first presided over man at his birth ■ 
the second spun the thread of his life, and was represented with 
a distaff in her hand ; the third held her scissors, and cut this 
thread of life at a certain inevitable period. 

We must appeal to our great divines, and theologians, for a rule 
whereby our opinions are to be guided in the matter of general 
and special providences. A general providence, is represented 
by the arising of a great tempest in the sea, so that the ship was 
covered with the waves ; and a special providence, by the winds 
and the sea being rebuked, and a great calm succeeding. 

Adam Clarke, however, inclines to the opinion, that Satan, the 
prince of the power of the air, raised the wind on the occasion 
referred to. But it is to be noticed, that Satan was not repri- 
manded, nor spoken to, but that the winds and sea were com- 
manded to peace, by a direct address to these elements, and that 
they obeyed. 

We have an opinion of our own upon the matter, which we 
believe to be orthodox, and consonant with the Bible, but it is not 
our design to extend this part of our subject at the present time. 
What we have said, arose from the circumstances preceding and 
accompanying the death of Csesar. 

§ 6. Witchcraft, is superstition run mad. It is a moral ma- 
nia, in a horrible shape, a mental derangement, as much to be 
deplored as the invasion of yellow fever, or cholera. A strange 
and retroverted state of things, in which the accusers merit the 
bloodletting, strait-jacket, and water gruel treatment of an insane 
hospital. A state of things, in which accusers are the guilty 
party, and the accused the innocent. 

A man wiser, and more scientific than his neighbors, or than 
the age he lived in, a woman more poor, old, and ugly than other 
females, have both been accused, and imprisoned for witchcraft. 

* Fate was accounted by Josephus another name tot providence. 


Roger Bacon, who was born in England, near the town of 
Ilchester, in 1214, was, if not the original discoverer of chemis- 
try in the world, certainly its inventor or introducer, as relates to 
Europe. He was, moreover, the greatest mathematician who had 
ever been known. And since the time of Archimides, no one 
had lived who could compare with him in mechanical knowledge 
and ingenuity. All religion in his days was popery, and he was 
himself a friar of the Franciscan order. His stupendous knowl- 
edge amazed his countrymen, and especially his superstitious 
brotherhood. They imputed to magic, powers and processes so 
much transcending their own, and of which they could not con- 
ceive the reason. 

The Newton, the Fulton, and Davy, of the day, was therefore 
thrown into prison, and there he remained immured for ten years, 
for knowing more than his countrymen. 

Why ignorant and bigoted men, should have been surprised at 
the stupendous knowledge of Bacon, is not so very wonderful, for 
the dark ages had not yet passed away. 

But in the seventeenth century, that such a man as the Rev. 
Cotton Mather, so learned, and so eloquent a writer as he was for 
his day, should have been so utterly confounded, by an hysterical 
girl, as we shall see he was, is certainly astonishing. 

Those persons at Salem, who pretended to be bewitched, and 
who accused other persons of bewitching them, were afflicted with 
that kind of madness, very well known to physicians by the title 
of monomania. Sometimes by itself, sometimes combined with 
hysterics in women, and with hypochondriasis in men, and with 
what does not always attend it, malice, in both sexes. 

Cotton Mather well knew the old shapes in which witchcraft 
had appeared, but it now came to his sight, instead of his hearing 
only, and put on new forms, and his understanding gave way to 
the shock. 

Whoever reads that Reverend gentleman's account of t 
Salem witchcraft, and who is capable of weighing evidence, am 
of feeling the weight of an argument, will not, without some hesi- 
tation, say that it was all delusion, deception, and mistake. For 
as Cicero observes, ascertain weight of evidence is capable of 
making the most improbable thing, probable. And here a wit- 


ness apparently competent and respectable, testifies to what his 
own eyes saw, hands felt, and ears heard. And this repeatedly, 
and not himself alone, but as he expresses it, scores of other wit- 
nesses, saw, heard, felt, and smelt, the same. This last sense 
being most distressingly tried on one occasion, when he, being 
with many others in the room with one Margaret Rule, a bewitch- 
ed girl, her mouth was widely opened, and as she said, pulled 
open by her invisible tormentors, the witches, who as she assert- 
ed, endeavored to thrust burning brimstone down her throat. 

To Mr. Mather, the invisibles were not visible, but the smell 
of burning brimstone, although none was seen by him, was in a 
high degree suffocating. Nor was this all that his senses testified. 
For he distinctly saw spots on the girl, burned to a blister; which, 
as she said, and as he believed, was done by spectral fire, used 
by invisible agents. 

He also says, that he saw many pins sticking into her skin ; 
and that this was done by the invisibles, he is certain, because her 
attendants had previously taken every pin from her clothing, and 
left none in her reach. All this, and twenty pages more, of mi- 
nute, and collateral, and additional matter, are written by this 
Reverend Divine from his own knowledge ; and in a style, of 
which as an example, we will here give the reader a quotation. 

He says, " Wherefore instead of all apish shouts, and jeers, at 
histories which have such undoubted confirmation, as that no 
man that has breeding enough to regard the commori laws of hu- 
man society, will offer to doubt of them, it becomes us rather to 
adore the goodness of God, who does not permit such things every 
day to befal us all, as he did sometimes permit to befal some few 
of our miserable neighbors." 

He tells us that for the first nine days of this Margaret Rule's 
illness, or as he calls it, affliction, that she without any emaciation, 
or debility, or decay, or loss of spirits, took no food. Her teeth 
would be set if food was offered her, and as to the liquids got 
down in that period, a spoonful of rum was the most considerable. 

She had by her invisible tormentors, however, something pour- 
ed down her throat in this period, which her utmost efforts to spit 
out could not clear her mouth of; and which she said was scald- 


ing brimstone. This, the Divine tells us, was commonly invisi- 
ble, although the act of deglutition was apparent. 

He does not tell us that he ever saw any of that odd liquor, of 
which she cried out as of scalding brimstone poured down her 
neck. But of the scent of brimstone burning, throughout the 
house, which he and other people in the house were scarce able 
to endure, himself and scores of witnesses could testify. 

He also tells of some of this liquor, as well as some of a white 
powder, having once been seen, actually visible, as he states, the 
former on her neck, and the latter on her cheek. This white 
powder was used by Margaret's invisible tormentors, as it seems, 
** to extremely incommode her eyes." 

We are told, besides the melted brimstone and this eye powder, 
of scalds, pin-pricks, black and blue pinches, upon this girl. And 
we are told that the scalded spots required medical applications. 
Still, it does not appear that any injury which she, or any one 
else received, was any thing more than very superficial, and 
trifling ; and of such a kind as persons who were malevolent and 
wicked, and designing, might for the purpose of carrying on im- 
posture, inflict upon themselves. Nor does it appear that any 
physician was called to examine this liquor, or powder, or scalds. 

Mr. Mather was pastor of the North Church in Boston, a Doc- 
tor of Divinity, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and considered 
eminent for his learning and piety, and as the most eminent di- 
vine of his day. He died in 1727.* 

He relates of this Margaret Rule, that on one occasion, she 
was raised up to the ceiling of her room, where she was held so 
fast that it required several persons to pull her down. 

Many other particulars, equally marvellous, are stated by this 
Doctor of Divinity. We may conclude by his summary reflec- 
tions, that he was very well satisfied with this Salem witchcraft 
and its results — for he says, " In the whole, the devil got nothing, 
but God got praises, Christ got subjects, the Holy Spirit got tem- 
ples, the church got additions, and the souls of men got everlasting 

* The Salem witchcraft happened whilst Sir Edward Andross, and Sir 
William Phipps, were Governors of Massachusetts. 


We are of opinion, however, that all these things may have 
happened, and that they do happen, without witchcraft. And 
that the hanging of nineteen innocent persons, is certain, but that 
the devil got nothing, as he says, is uncertain. 

Upon a kind of cross examination of affairs in the room of this 
girl, in the presence of a Boston merchant, Robert Calef, we do 
not find Dr. Mather's statements fully verified. 

To the question, what does she eat ! it was answered, she does 
not eat at all, but drinks rum. 

Mr. Calef also states that whilst he was in her room, she desired 
the women to be gone, saying that the company of the men was 
not offensive to her. And that having hold of the hand of a 
young man, said to have been her sweetheart formerly, who was 
withdrawing, she pulled him again into his seat, saying he should 
not go that night. 

She had occasional fits, and when she came out of them, she 
was in a merry, talking mood. 

This witness did not smell the brimstone, which was said to 
have been melted whilst he was in the room. He writes, for he 
has left an account of the Salem witchcraft, that he was told by 
her attendants, that when the Rev. Mr. Mather visited her, that 
their conferences were sometimes so private, that even the girl's 
mother was not admitted into the room. But this statement was 
denied by Dr. Mather. Indeed, Mr. Calef 's representations were 
so different from those of the Doctor, that he was arrested, both 
by him and his father, for slander. 

The father of Cotton Mather, was Increase Mather, D. D. then 
President of the only college then in the United States, that of 
Harvard. There was an arrest, or action brought, however, and 
nothing more. Mr. Calef not being met before the court of ses- 
sions by his accusers, either of them, was discharged of course. 

§ 7. There are, so far as we know, in every country, under 
different appellations, some pretenders to magical art. Egypt 
had its sorcerers and magicians ; Greece and Rome had their 
diviners and soothsayers ; the Scotch have their men of second 
sight, and in Spain they have a sort of persons called Zahars, 


who pretend that they can see what is going on in the bowels of 
the earth. 

It will not do to deny every thing for which we cannot account, 
or give a reason. Why grass is green, and not red, like the rose, 
and why the violet is blue, and not green like the grass, we may 
not be able to comprehend, and yet we cannot deny. 

It has been supposed, that what is called casting out devils, 
was nothing more than the healing of persons who had fits of 
epilepsy, or falling sickness. This hypothesis receives some 
countenance, from what is said in one or more places, of the sub- 
jects falling oft into the fire, and water, and foaming at the mouth. 
Those who have epilepsy, fall suddenly down, let them be in 
never so much danger of fire or of water. They also foam at 
the mouth, which foam is sometimes bloody. They likewise have 
their head drawn on one side. 

The present writer had a patient so badly burned by falling 
into the fire, in one of these kind of fits, that she died. In some 
respects, therefore, this hypothesis holds good. 

But the account given by St. Luke, of the demons in the per- 
son, requesting to have the liberty of entering a herd of swine, 
and of their being permitted, and of their hurrying the animals 
into the sea, cannot be identified with any known disease. 

In the Salem trials, one of the witnesses attested, that a drove 
of fourteen oxen, turned out upon a beach, ran away from those 
who attempted to drive them up, took to the sea, and with the ex- 
ception of a single ox, were drowned. 

The witness supposed these oxen to have been bewitched, and 
that the witch was one Susannah Martin, then on trial for her 

In those times of delusion, any accident that could be laid hold 
of, that could be compared to any thing in the Bible, in which 
demons or devils had a hand, was eagerly applied to the passing 

The case of the swine, and the case of these oxen, were simi- 
lar, so far as related to the drowning. And hence, in a trial for 
life, such testimony was admitted by the court, that the jury might 
apply the mischief to the accused, of drowning the oxen ! 


The trial, examination, and imprisonment of persons for witch- 
craft, was preceded by prayer. 

§ 8. It was in the latter part of February, 1691, that several 
young persons, in Salem, were observed to act strangely, by 
creeping into holes, under chairs and other household furniture. 
Among these were the daughter and niece of Mr. Parris, the min- 
ister of Salem. They at the same time made nonsensical speech- 
es, used odd gestures, and put themselves into strange postures. 

This was the denouement of the maniacal delusion which 
spread into Boston, and into fourteen or fifteen other towns. 

It began in the family of the minister, and to add wormwood 
to his gall as he expressed it, there were in his own family both 
accusers and accused. Elizabeth Parris, his daughter, Abigail 
Williams, his niece, and Ann Putnam, were the chief accusers, in 
the first stage. 

On the 11th of March, a day of fasting and prayer was held 
at this minister's house. 

These girls were all young, one of them not more than eleven 
or twelve years old. Several of Mr. Parris' professional brethren, 
neighboring ministers, met at his house on occasion of the fast. 

A few days previous to this, it appeared that Mr. Parris' Indian 
woman Tibuta, made a cake of rye-meal, wet up with the chil- 
dren's water, which she baked in the ashes, and gave to a dog. 
This was done in order to discover who the witches were that tor- 
mented these girls, one of whom had fits. Poor Tibuta's manoeu- 
vre was attended with adverse effects to herself, for she was the first 
whom these girls accused of bewitching them. She was imprison- 
ed, and confessed sufficient knowledge of witchcraft, and converse 
with the devil, to save her life. For, by a strange, and perfectly ab- 
surd course of judicial proceedings, any one who was accused, and 
who confessed guilt, at the first examination, was permitted to go 
away without being imprisoned, prest, or hung ; whilst those who 
asserted their own innocence were almost certainly convicted, and 
punished with death. 

It seems a sufficiently marvellous mark of the times, that before 
the Superior Court of Massachusetts, a criminal pleading guilty, 
should by it be deemed innocent. But such being the case, as 


the delusion spread, persons perfectly innocent, who were accu- 
sed, were implored by their families, and even mothers, by their 
children on their knees, to confess guilt, as the only possible way 
of saving their lives. 

Some conscientious and innocent women complied, and after- 
wards, when the storm had subsided, published the truth of the 

The Indian woman, and two old women, one of whom was bed- 
ridden, were the three first persons implicated. 

But accusations were not confined to squaws and old women. 
They soon spread to respectable men and women, to officers, 
church members, and to one minister of the gospel. And to be 
accused, where spectral evidence was admitted, involved impris- 
onment, confiscation of property, ruin of character, trial for life, 
and death by hanging. 

Nor were accusations confined to adults ; for an infant of be- 
tween four and five years of age was accused, and — and what ? 
Is it possible that there could on earth have been, even in those 
mad times, a judge or a justice, who would have noticed such an 
accusation 1 Yet such was the fact, and the poor little innocent 
was committed to prison ! And what was the evidence against 
it 1 Why the prints of its spectral teeth — (teeth which it had 
never shed,) were exhibited on the arms of its accusers ! 

Next came the brute creation. Two dogs were put to death, 
one for being a witch, and the other poor fellow, for being be- 
witched. And it is worth notice that the latter dog was the 
only creature that was put to death by authority, for being afflicted, 
as it was termed. The strange acting girls, who crept into holes, 
and took brimstone, were not the witches, but the bewitched ; and 
yet these bewitched persons were suffered to testify in cases of 
life and death, against persons of the first respectability ! 

In the case of the dog, he having been noticed to have some- 
thing the matter with him, those persons who had the spectral 
sight, were sent for. They accused a respectable man, Mr. John 
Bradstreet, of afflicting the dog, and of riding upon him ! To 
save himself, Mr. Bradstreet made his escape out of the state. 

It was dangerous for civil officers to offend the accusers, or to 
favor the accused. The former, including those of the minister's 


family, had now increased to eight or ten. Their screeches, and 
yells, were on one occasion appalling, in and about the court 
house, when the Superior court was in session. The reason was, 
that the jury had brought in a verdict of not guilty, in behalf of 
one whom these malevolent maniacs had accused. This verdict 
dissatisfied the court, as well as the bewitched. They were sent 
out again, and returned with a verdict of guilty. 

Dudley Bradstreet, Esq. a justice of the peace in Andover, 
having granted out warrants, and committed to prison thirty or 
forty persons, began to relent, and refused to issue any further 
processes. Upon this he was himself accused of having killed 
nine persons by witchcraft, and was obliged to fly to the District 
of Maine, for his life. 

There was, in the persons who declared themselves bewitched, 
an evident depravity, and destitution of moral principle, but owing 
to their having been, for the time, a privileged order, it was dim- 
cult to detect them. 

Persons who were permitted to swear to what was done in the 
court room, which neither judges, nor jurors, nor spectators, nor 
other witnesses, could see any thing of, were indeed an order of 
witnesses, sui generis. 

No doubt the court itself stood in awe of these incarnate de- 
mons, else it would not have suffered itself to have been insulted 
by their screams and noise when a verdict of the jury did not 
happen to suit them. In the selection of the persons whom they 
accused, it is probable that they were actuated by principles of 
revenge, either on their own account, or on account of some of 
their friends or confederates. 

They frequently accused persons of murder, from the spectral 
information, which, as they were suffered to say, the murdered 
person, after his death, disclosed to them. 

At the trial of Sarah Good, who with four others, was tried on 
the 30th day of June, and all executed on the 19th day of the 
following July, one of the accusers fell into a fit. Upon her 
coming out of it, she cried out that the prisoner had stabbed her 
with a knife, in the breast, and had broken the knife ; a piece of 
the blade was then produced. But in this instance, a young man 
was called, who proved that this accusing bewitched witness had 


sworn falsely. He produced the haft, and part of the blade of a 
knife, which the court having compared and viewed with the piece 
broken off, which the girl produced, found that the latter belong- 
ed to the former. The young man then testified, that the day 
before, he happened to break his knife, in the presence of this 
accuser of the prisoner, and that he threw away the part broken 
off. She was then admonished by the court not to tell lies ; and 
this was all the notice taken of a plain case of perjury, committed 
in presence of the court. And still worse, she was after this suf- 
fered to testify against the persons on trial. 

There were women appointed to search the female prisoners 
for extra teats, it being affirmed that such were on the bodies of 
witches for his Satanic majesty to suck. 

Upon the trial of Bridget Bishop, a jury of women found, as 
they asserted, a preternatural teat upon her body ; but upon a re- 
examination, a few hours afterwards, there 'was no such thing to 
be seen. It was this Bridget Bishop, who it was said, by looking 
at the great and spacious meeting house, as she passed by it under 
guard, demolished a part of it. 

It does not seem to have occurred to those sage judges, that if 
these witches had the power of stabbing a person in the court 
room, without its being seen by themselves, and of demolishing 
buildings by looking at them, that they might have demolished 
the court itself, and despatched the witnesses. 

It is stated that a physician first intimated that the girls in Mr. 
Parris' family were bewitched. But we have some doubt of any 
respectable man of the medical profession, having made any such 
assertion, as his name is not given. Nor does, it appear that a 
single medical man was ever called to any one of these girls who 
had fits, or as a witness on any of the trials. This goes very far 
to prove that the professors of the healing art, set their faces 
against the whole proceedings, as in duty bound. And by which, 
we consider that they did an everlasting honor to their noble 

Of the liberal professions, it appears that divines and lawyers 
may claim the whole glory among their own brotherhoods, of 
what related to the Salem witchcraft. 


Nineteen persons had now been hung for witchcraft ; and one 
man by the name of Giles Cory, pressed to death, because he 
would not plead. 

A late president of Yale College, the excellent Dr. Dwight, 
paid a visit to Salem, a few years before his death, as it would 
seem, with special reference to inquiry into the history of a delu- 
sion unparallelled in the New World. 

From his account we learn, that more than one third of the 
persons executed were members of the Christian church. One 
of the number, Mr. Burroughs, had been a settled minister in the 
town of Wells ; and that one hundred and fifty were imprisoned, 
and two hundred others accused. At this period spectral evidence 
was discontinued, and no more were found guilty by the jury. 
Most of those in prison, were dismissed without bringing them to 
trial ; and Sir William Phipps, the governor of the colony, being 
at this time recalled, before his departure for England, pardoned 
those under sentence of death. Such a gaol delivery America 
had never seen, and it is hoped and believed, will never have oc- 
casion to see again.* 

In the early accounts of this witchcraft, there is no distinction 
made in titles, both men and women being called witches. Even 
the learned Cotton Mather, calls his professional brother, the Rev. 
Mr. Burroughs, a witch, instead of a wizzard. He was for 
having him hung, and was gratified. 

In the trials, the witnesses were suffered to testify to what 
ghosts, spectres, appearances, and the shapes of persons, had 
said and done, as well as to what the dead had told them. Seve- 
ral penitent witches, were used as witnesses, and on one occasion, 
several of them swore that the prisoner then on trial, together 
with themselves, was baptized in the river at Newbury Falls, by 
the devil himself! and that they all, then and there, did worship 
his infernal highness, on the bank of the river, kneeling ! 

Before the breaking out of the Salem witchcraft, as an epidem- 
ic madness, there had been some sporadic, or scattering cases ; 
and one person had been previously tried. This goes far to de- 
velope its history, and the suddenness and extensiveness of its 

* April, 1693. 



spread. The people were prepared for it by predisposition. 
Nothing grows faster than ill weeds, or is more contagious than 
bad example, or has such allurements for vulgar minds, as strange 
stories, which collect a crowd. The delusion swept away all 
reason, all correct law, and all other diseases. Accidents, the 
death of animals, the loss of children, and even sickness by fevers, 
and the oversetting of carts, were all imputed to witchcraft. 
Had the minister at Salem, in whose house the mischief began, 
dismissed his squaw, and given his children each of them a sound 
whipping, it might have saved the lives of twenty persons, and 
the imprisonment of one hundred and fifty more. 

We believe in days of fasting and prayer, but we do not believe 
that they will answer in the room of family government. Nor did 
they in this instance. The notice which these young persons, 
and the Indian woman, saw taken of their eccentricities, encour- 
aged them to go on. 

Insanity is a state of mind in which all its principles are lost or 
obscured, with the exception of fear, alone. And we shall see, 
that it was the fear of pecuniary damages which gave the first 
check to the madness of witchcraft. 

The clergy, who have ever had unbounded sway over the minds 
of the people of New England, with the exception of those of 
Rhode Island, were all on the side of the reality of witchcraft. 

Cotton Mather's account, entitled Wonders of the Invisible 
World, was written by order of the Government of the State. 
And as may have been expected, sanctions the proceedings of the 
Superior Court, in condemning and executing the miserable ob- 
jects of false accusers, false witnesses, and partial judges. 

Increase Mather, his father, president of Harvard College, was 
a believer in the reality of witchcraft, and an influential supporter 
of his son's views, and of the Court's proceedings. 

Had it not been that some spirited laymen beheld the whole 
delusion with different eyes, and especially that Mr. Calef a 
merchant in Boston, boldly controverted the views of Cotton 
Mather, inch by inch, it is impossible to tell to what unbounded 
heights of horror, this devastating madness might have arisen. 

Lieut. Governor Danforth, was at this period chief justice of 
the Superior Court, for Suffolk county. The court convened for 


the trial of persons accused of witchcraft in Boston ; and the 
Chief Justice expressed his determination to take such decisive 
measures with the supposed criminals, as would put a stop to its 
progress. When news arrived of the reprieve, by Gov. Phipps, of 
those previously condemned in Salem, so chagrined was his hon- 
or, at the tidings, that he abruptly left the bench, and vacated his 
seat for that session. 

Susanna Martin, a widow woman, was one of those persons 
who was tried, condemned, and executed at Salem. She is de- 
scribed by Cotton Mather, in his " Wonders," as an imprudent, 
scurrilous, and wicked creature. But the writer was evidently a 
man of ardent passions, and of violent prejudices, especially 
against supposed witches ; and approbated the proceedings of the 
court which tried, condemned, and had her hung. 

This poor widow gave answers to the questions of the court, 
upon her trial, which would not seem to corroborate that reverend 
writer's account of her. Upon being asked by the judge, respect- 
ing her accusers, who feigned fits, at her presence, how her ap- 
pearance hurt them, meaning her spectral appearance, which they 
asserted had also thrown them into fits, she replied, " How do I 
know 1 he that appeared in the shape of Samuel, a glorified 
saint, may appear in any one's shape." This answer intimates 
that she knew nothing of her spectral appearance, although, we 
think that she was so far under the influence of the prevailing 
opinion, that she believed that her own appearance was assumed, 
without her knowing it ; and that if she did, in a spectral form, 
appear to her accusers, that it might be owing to the same won- 
derful being who appeared to Saul, in the shape of the prophet 
Samuel — that if the witch of Endor, could assume, or could pro- 
duce that prophet, or his appearance, when he had been long 
dead and buried, and was, as she supposed, a glorified saint, that 
the same power, the same witch of Endor, or any other witch, 
might assume her form, or produce her appearance, without her 
consent, or her knowing any thing about it ; the raising of Samu- 
el, at the command of Saul, being an involuntary act on the part 
of the prophet, and for which he reproved the king of Israel, al- 
though he did appear at the instance of the witch of Endor. 



We do not see how a Coke, a Blackstone, or a Webster, could 
have taken ground in her favor more tenable, more orthodox, or 
more elevated. 

She had previously denied, and no doubt truly, her knowing 
what ailed her accusers, or of her ever having done any thing to 
hurt them ; and when told by the sitting magistrate, that it was 
her appearance, she replied that she could not help it. 

At this period of infatuation, the belief was almost universal, 
that spectres did appear to persons and hurt them, and she was 
probably of the common opinion. 

She was asked whether she did not think that her accusers 
were bewitched ; she answered, No, she did not think they were. 
The magistrate then told her to tell her thoughts about them. 
She replied no, her thoughts were her own when they were in, 
but when they were out they were another's. 

Those who have had that most distressing disease of sleep, 
called incubus, or night-mare, will at once recognize it in the ac- 
count given by one of the witnesses upon the trial of the said 









A 1111 










One Robert Downer, testified that this prisoner having been 
some years before prosecuted at. court for a witch, he then said 
unto her, he believed she was a witch ; whereat she being dissat- 
isfied said, that some she devil would shortly fetch him away, 
which words were heard by others as well as himself. 


The witness stated, that the night following as he lay in his 
bed, there came in at his window, the likeness of a cat, which 
flew upon him, and took fast hold of his throat, lay on him a 
considerable time, and almost killed him ; at length he remem- 
bered what Susanna Martin had threatened him the day before, 
and with much striving he cried out, Avoid thou she-devil, in the 
name of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost, avoid ; where- 
upon it left him, leaped on the floor, and flew out at the window. 
This was a decided case of nightmare. 

Upon the whole it appears that those persons who pretended 
that they were bewitched, were either young, credulous, ignorant, 
or malicious, or all these combined ; and that some of them, as 
did Cotton Mather, impute to witchcraft, some of the well known 
symptoms of hysterics. We know that they affect the jaws and 
the throat as he relates ; and that the jaws will sometimes remain 
long closely shut, so that nothing can be got down. Indeed, we 
think that from our own patients, we might give a narrative 
equally marvellous, of things that took place, as those which he 
himself saw, in Margaret Rule ; for it is to be observed, that he 
did not see her jaws pulled open, nor see her burned, nor see pins 
stuck into her, nor see brimstme melted and poured down her 
throat. All these things he relates upon her own veracity, about 
her invisible tormentors. And we do know, and every physician 
knows, that women after having come out of hysteric fits, are 
very commonly in a merry talking fit or mood, as Mr. Calef re- 
lates, was the case with the said Margaret. And as to the num- 
ber affected, we can call to mind its parallel in our own practice. 
Hysterical diseases, like most others, do sometimes appear as a 
kind of endemic, though rarely. We had in one season, four 
cases of young women, all of whom had fits, in one vicinity. 
Another case not far off we heard of and did not attend ; and 
was consulted, about the same period, in another case, in the 
same town. These cases occurred during a religious revival ; 
and at the same period, a young man in the same place, and who 
attended the same meeting, with the five girls first mentioned, be- 
came insane, so that we were obliged to chain him. All this 
might have happened from any other cause, that violently excited 
the mind. And they all recovered. 


As to Margaret Rule's not eating and yet not emaciating, we 
know that girls will long have hysterias, and eat very little, with- 
out apparently falling away. And as Dr. Mather was not all the 
time with Margaret, she might have eaten more than was told 

The globus hystericus, which seems like a ball rising up into 
the throat, and choking hysterical women, very satisfactorily ac- 
counts for the swallowing motion which he observed in the said 
Margaret, and which she said was the swallowing of brimstone 
poured down her throat. Of this being actually the case, no one 
now a days will believe a single word. 

As to the prints of teeth which were exhibited, they appear to 
have been on the arms, where the bewitched could inflict them on 
themselves, which we believe that they did.* And it is not to be 
overlooked, that these persons, after all the miseries which they 
caused others, never one of them received any serious injury 
themselves. We are not told that the girl who perjured herself, 
by saying that she was stabbed in the breast by Sarah Good, ever 
exhibited any wound ; or if she did, it was only a slight scratch, 
which she had given herself. 

The malevolence of these persons, their aim at notoriety, their 
lust of power, and their contempt of authority, were evinced by 
their screams and yells, in and about the court-house, when the 
jury had pronounced a person innocent, whom they were deter- 
mined to destroy. 

A court which had any respect for its own dignity, and who 
did' not stand in some degree of fear of these malevolent demons, 
would have sent them every one to prison. But a court which 
could admit spectral evidence, and which could send out a com- 
mittee to search for extra teats to nurse the devil with, and could 
believe that a witness had been baptized by him, could believe 
any thing, and hang any body. A court too that could send an 
infant of four years old to prison, for being a witch, and biting 
with spectral teeth ! Avas a most powerful aid in keeping up and 
spreading the delusion of witchcraft. 

* We very well know, and every physician knows, that women in hysteric 
fits will bite themselves, or any thing that they can lay hold of. It is common 
to hold a stick between their teeth to keep them from biting their own tongues. 



The way in which this awful delusion wa^ at length arrested, 
was not by prosecutions, imprisonment, pressing to death with 
weights put on the breast, as was Giles Corey, or hanging. So 
long as these continued, this demoniacal madness also continued 
and increased. The low rabble, aided by Cotton Mather, waged 
a kind of servile war, through the courts, against people of reli- 
gion, reputation and resources. Like Jack Cade, they were 
willing to away to the prison, or to the gallows, with every one 
who spoke Latin. 

Notwithstanding the aid afforded by the Mathers, and by Judo-e 
Danforth, yet we must award to Boston and its citizens, the credit 
of having first struck a decisive blow to the progress of its course. 

A gentleman in Boston, was accused by a person in Andover 
of being a witch.* He prosecuted his accuser for slander, and 
laid the damage at a thousand pounds. This had not only the 
happy effect of saving himself, but of ruining the cause of de- 
mentia, witchcraft and sorcery, in the town where the accuser 
lived. The final discomfiture of the malicious malady in Salem, 
and other towns, was, as we have seen, by the reprieve of the 
condemned, and the discharge of the imprisoned, and the non- 
prosecution of the accused. 

These things go far, very far, in proving that the whole was 
the work of deluded, designing, or revengeful flesh and blood. 
All was over now, and we hear no more of girls crawling into 
holes, and under chairs, and of their having spectres bite them, 
and appearances stab them, and pour brimstone melted, down 
their necks ; or of men having cats take them by the throat. 

What is. cured by natural causes, is pretty certainly caused by 
them. We now hear no more of these preternatural fits and 
afflictions. Distress for the loss of those unjustly cut ofFby false 

* We have asked ourselves why men and women were alike called witches, 
when the term is only applicable to the latter ? Cotton Mather, who knew 
better, uses this improper language, as well as the rest. The probability is, that 
they did not find in the Bible, any command that wizards should not be suffered 
to live, so fully and plainly expressed/ as that respecting witches; and as they 
were determined to hang men, as well as women, by ecclesiastical, or the Mo- 
saic law, they gave them the name of witches, as well as women, and then the 
words of Moses' law, "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," would apply 
to all. 


accusation, stains on the reputation of courts and character, and 
the harrowing sensations of jurors, that they had pronounced 
guilty, those whom themselves and others now believed innocent, 
were sensations not to be easily obliterated. 

The distress of the Rev. Samuel Parris, in whose family the 
mania first manifested itself, was however of another kind. His 
parishioners demanded his dismissal. The good man held his 
place as long as was possible ; and the neighboring clergy, who 
had with him upheld the delusion in its reign, now supported the 
cause of their brother for his place. All would not avail ; he 
was dismissed. One would have thought that after the horrid 
scenes and sufferings which Salem had endured, that his retire- 
ment would have been spontaneous ; especially as they probably 
might have been prevented by himself, had he, in his own family, 
punished the first symptoms of the aggressors, as he ought. He 
had formerly been a merchant in the town of Salem, but having 
in worldly prosperity, succeeded better in the pulpit, than behind 
the counter, he clung to his station with a pertinacity truly aston- 

Those judges who hung the witches, ostensibly pretended to 
take the Bible for their guide, especially that clause of it, in 
which Moses says, thou shalt not suffer a ivitch to live. Now 
they ought to have considered that there is no definition given 
how the criminal or the crime is to be discovered. We can easily 
account for this indefinitude of the Bible. The Jews were under 
a Theocracy. They had likewise an inspired lawgiver. There 
could, therefore, have been no ambiguity in defining the crime, 
or of discovering the criminal. Under the new dispensation, 
these things are not so ; nor is there any command given to pun- 
ish a witch. The mistake of these judges, consisted in applying 
to one people, a rule which was designed locally, and solely for 
another. They ought, in order to have been consistent with 
themselves, to have abstained from eating pork, to have observed 
the seventh day as a Sabbath, and to have punished the people 
for any breach of these laws ; and they ought also to have reflect- 
ed, that there was no instance in the Bible, of a witch having 
been punished with death. 


§ 9. There have been men whose countenances were marked 
by benevolence and humanity, the perusal of whose actions 
would lead us to suppose that we had fallen in with the records 
of the infernals ; and there have been others, whose actions, at 
one period, were marked by every virtue, and at other times black- 
ened with every crime. We would refer such heads, together 
with those of the Salem judges, to the examination of the phre- 
nologists. And we wish them to consider well, that these judges, 
with Cotton Mather, appear to have had their tender sensibilities 
most wonderfully excited, in favor of girls who had pin-pricks 
and the prints of teeth upon their arms, and who at the same 
time, cut off by death the most disgraceful, innocent men and 
women ; and this without any seeming remorse or feeling ; leav- 
ing families bereaved of a parent or member, with a legacy of 
never ending disgrace in their stead. Nay, they subjected some 
of their victims to more than death to bodies tender, and minds 
refined. Delicate and well educated women, were compelled to 
stand with their arms extended, till exhausted nature gave way 
under the load of pain ; they were then put into prison, and 
heavily ironed. 

Is there a bump for superstitious practices, of the most revolting 
kind, which gradually diminishes, as light, and equality, arid 
toleration, diffuse themselves, till it is lost entirely] Is there 
another bump which rules, and which led those bewitched persons 
to refer to their neighbors every disaster, and accident, and afflic- 
tion, with which providence saw fit to visit them ? If this bump 
should not be found, we incline to think that there is in the world 
a tendency still, in some people, similar to that which influenced 
those persons ; that is, to impute sometimes to their neighbors, 
what happens by the hand of heaven. 

We want the bump pointed out for sinning and for repenting. 
A man lately sent to the treasury of the United States, ten dol- 
lars, which he, or as he said his partner, defrauded the govern- 
ment of some twenty years before, in the admeasurement of some 

The phrenologists, in order for them to be consistent with 
themselves, must be able to display a change in the bump, when 
a man is cruel, and when he is merciful, when he is stealing, and 



when he is restoring, when he is pugnacious, and when he is pla- 

§ 10. Something in the shape of witchcraft, or of certain 
magical practices or pretensions, existed in all the nations of an- 
tiquity ; but we do not recollect any tragical events recorded, as 
flowing from it, until the introduction of Christianity ; a system 
which exceeds all others in every thing, and which gives no sanc- 
tion, either positive or implied, for punishing a witch. This 
shows the tendency of superstition to pervert the best systems to 
unhallowed purposes. It is true that Nebuchadnezzar, king of 
Babylon, threatened to slay his astrologers, for not interpreting 
and revealing to him his dream, which Daniel afterwards did ; 
but this threat does not appear to have been executed. 

That ancient nation the Egyptians, exceeded all others in all 
kinds of knowledge, in which that of magic was included. The 
rods of their sorcerers, we are told, became serpents, as did that 
of Aaron, and that blood and frogs were produced by them, as 
by him. 

A modern En°-lish writer, Dr. Ferriar, has written a theory 
of apparitions, which he endeavors to prove to have been imagin- 
ary beings, and that those who supposed that they saw them, 
were laboring under certain bodily diseases, which affected their 
minds with a peculiar kind of false vision, bordering on delirium 
and insanity. This writer has given an account of a magical 
performance, which is taken from Lucian. Lucian was an elegant 
scholar, and a philosopher of Samosata, in Syria, and was made, 
by the Roman Emperor, Register to the governor of Egypt. 
This was in the second century, after the Christian era. He vis- 
ited many different countries, and Athens, among others. His 
account is as follows : Eucrates says that he became acquainted 
with Pancrates, who had resided twenty years in the subterrane- 
ous recesses, where he had learned magic from Isis herself. At 
length he states, he persuaded me to leave my servants at Mem- 
phis, and to follow him alone, telling me that we should not be at 
a loss for attendants. When he came to any inn, he took a pin 
of wood, a latch, or bolt, and wrapping it in some clothes, when 
he had repeated a verse over it, he made it walk and appear a 


man to every one. This creature went about, prepared supper, 
laid the cloth, and waited upon us very dexterously. Then when 
we had no further occasion for it, by repeating another verse, he 
turned it into a pin, latch, or bolt, again. He refused to impart 
the secret of this incantation to me, though very obliging in every 
thing else ; but having hid myself one day in a dark corner, I 
caught the first verse, which consisted of three syllables. After 
he had given his orders to the pin, he went to the market place. 
Next day, in his absence, I took the pin, dressed it up, and repeat- 
ing the syllables, ordered it to fetch some water. When it had 
brought a full jar, I cried, " Stop, draw no more water, but be a 
pin again." It was in vain, however, that I reiterated the com- 
mand of as you were ; the perverse pin continued his employ- 
ment till he had nearly filled the house. I not able to endure this 
obstinacy, (continues Eucrates,) and fearing the return of my 
companion, lest he should be displeased, seized a hatchet and 
split the pin in two pieces. But each part, taking up a jar, ran 
to draw more water ; so that I had now two servants in place of 
one. In the mean time Pancrates returned, and understanding 
the matter, changed them into wood again, as they were before 
the incantation. 

This pin story, teaches us that it is dangerous to raise stronger 
spirits than we can lay. It reminds us of the Egyptian rods, 
turned into serpents. It coincides with sacred history, in one 
point, that of confirming the strange faculty of the magicians of 
Egypt, and in this respect it is not unworthy of notice. Any 
sketch from profane history, which throws light upon sacred, we 
always read with the greatest avidity. We have besides, another 
object in view, in adducing from credible historians, examples of 
this kind, which will appear hereafter. 

We shall only remark here, that we received from a creditable 
and respectable eye witness, Capt. B. the relation of a phenome- 
non very similar, except the part relating to the water, and split- 
ting the pin, to this story of Eucrates. 

Every nation, at every epoch, have had and still have some- 
thing to relate upon what they deem veracious testimony, which 
sets at defiance the limits of common sense and general know- 
ledge, which shows, either that there is in nature certain obscuri- 


ties and marvels, which she does not choose to reveal all at once, 
but to deal them out at scores or centuries of years apart. Or 
that there is by search, and study, and attention, and initiation, 
occult mysteries, which may be found out. We see that it cost 
Pancrates twenty years study, in the subterranean cells of Egypt, 
under Isis herself, to produce his water bearer. 

Magic, magical practices, and sorcery, are however, in all their 
relations, the quackery of philosophy ; which has its quackery as 
well as the medical art. Both, when the truth in all its purity and 
lustre is known, turn out to be imposture and empiricism. 

Very different are those phenomena of the human frame when 
afflicted with nervous and some other diseases. 

§ 11. Why the eye sees, and the ear hears, we cannot tell, 
except by experience ; and yet there is no empiricism in seeing 
with the ears, and hearing with the eyes ; nor no imposture, but 
only a change produced by disease. And the same is the fact re- 
specting those who could tell colors by the touch ; but these things 
being so extremely rare, pass with the multitude for magic and 
witchcraft ; or rather did formerly, for there is at the present peri- 
od, so general a diffusion of literature, and books, and informa- 
tion, that it is likely to ruin the cause of witchcraft and magic, 
and to restore the present and rising generation to correct modes 
of coming at the truth, and of explaining singular, and strange, 
and far apart phenomena. 

§ 12. We have ourselves seen a young woman of about fif- 
teen, who whilst in fits, could accurately tell the color of any kind 
of cloth, by feeling it with her fingers. Her name was Nancy 
Hazard; and she could tell woollen, silk, and cotton, when woven 
into small stripes, in the same garment, and the colors which 
they bore, although each kind of material had a different color. 
This she did of a vest which we happened to have on when we 
first visited her. The main fabric of this vest was woollen, with 
a very narrow perpendicular stripe of four fine threads of cotton, 
and the whole crossed off with an equally fine stripe of silk. We 
had not then noticed all the materials of this garment, nor did 
we at first think that she was correct, till upon getting some per- 


son, skilled in fabrics of the kind, to look at it, it proved true, and 
our own eyes bore witness, upon inspection of it afterwards. We 
have preserved a piece of this vest, for more than thirty years, 
and it is now stitched to the margin of the volume in which an 
account of this singular case was first published, drawn up by 

These things she told by feeling alone, and that she had never 
seen it, we knew, for she was in a fit with her eyes closely drawn 
together, and the vest was a new one, and never had been worn in 
her presence, if worn at all, before. Our surprise to be sure, was 
excited, notwithstanding what Dr. Perry, whose copartner in 
medical business I then was, had related to me of her being able 
to distinguish her father, when she was in a fit, merely by touch- 
ing his hand, with the ends of her fingers,, and with her eyes 
closed. Many other instances of the surprising results of her ex- 
treme, but diseased sensibility, had also been told me. 

But to prevent all deception, and to ascertain that she told 
colors by the sense of feeling alone, we had a pillow put before 
her face and eyes, and held around her head by a person standing 
behind her. We did this for the satisfaction of others, to whom 
we might afterwards happen to mention her case, for as to our- 
selves, we just as well knew that she could not see before the pil- 
low was put there, as after it was ; for the reason, that her eyes 
were shut, and shut by the spasm of her fit, which she had no 
control of— no power over ; and therefore, she could not have 
opened her eyes if she had been so minded. We varied the ex- 
periment, and repeated the same, by presenting her, whilst the 
pillow was closely held before her eyes, with substances of differ- 
ent colors, but she as accurately, and usually as quickly, told 
their various, and even mixed hues, as other persons could do 
with their eyes open. But it was all the effect of disease ; as 
soon as her fit was entirely gone off, she had no more power of 
telling colors by the touch, than any other person ; and when her 
fits were severe, so as to produce convulsions, she could not of 
course, tell any thing. The next time I visited her, I witnessed 
something almost as extraordinary in relation to her acuteness of 
smell. She had given proofs of this before we saw her the second 
time. One of her attendants, whilst she was in a fit, took a small 


vial of oil of lemons, and held towards her. She drew in the 
fragrance with an incessant, convulsive kind of snuffing, she 
being extremely partial to the odor of that substance. It was 
then carried out of the room, and she, with her eyes shut, direct- 
ed her face, as she lay on the bed, towards the passage the per- 
son went out at. Before it was carried out, her musician rubbed 
the end of his finger around the mouth of the vial. He did not 
turn the vial up, and there was not the least particle of the oil, or 
essence in a fluid state, upon that part — there was nothing but the 
remains of the concreted oil. After the vial was carried out, he 
put his finger under the bed upon which she was lying, about half 
way between it and ihe floor. She instantly turned over on her 
face, and snuffed with the most eager intenseness, in order to in- 
hale the small remains of her beloved odor. 

This girl, Nancy Hazard by name, had as we have before inti- 
mated, the extraordinary faculty of distinguishing her father's 
hand by the touch, in her fits, soon after their commencement. 
It was discovered in this way. She had a propensity to beat her 
breast with the ends of her fingers, in imitation of dancing, and 
as if after a tune ; and when she seemed to strike so hard as to be 
in danger of hurting herself, one of her attendants would place 
his or her hand, where she struck. She seemed best pleased 
when her father's hand was thus placed, and would refuse to beat 
upon a strange hand. It was also discovered, that the hand of 
any one of her relations was preferred to that of a person not 
akin. This propensity lasted for some weeks, when it suddenly 
changed, and strange to tell, the touch of even a distant relation, 
would increase her cruel spasms to a horrible height. She had 
been bitten by a large black spider, upon the back of her hand. 
I had recommended music, at a former visit, and it was now 
made by an excellent performer on the viokn. She did not now 
dance with her fingers alone, but on her feet, long and laboriously. 
But it was altogether spasmodic and involuntary. The music 
regulated the spasms, moderated their violence, and reduced them 
to regular order, instead of the irregular motions of convulsions. 
But it did not cure them ; she got well by the discharge of a thick 
green matter, resembling the juice of green vegetables, strongly 
pressed out. It was discharged from the back of her hand, copi- 


ously, this being the spot where the spider had bitten her. It was 
compared to the juice of corn leaves and sage, with which dairy 
women, in the part of the country where she lived, sometimes 
color their cheese. But it is singular, that it was discharged with 
a sloughing of the skin only, without the formation of an ab- 

I have since been informed, by a respectable physician, residing 
in the town where this girl belonged, that he lanced an abscess 
upon a man's heel, which was occasioned by the bite of a spider 
and that the matter discharged was of a green color. The man 
was a laborer, and went barefoot. 

At one of my visits to Miss Hazard, I found her in rather a 
severe fit, lying on the bed, and witnessed her extraordinary tact, 
or the instinct of diseased nervous sensibility, with respect to her 
relations, who had now all become utterly obnoxious to her touch. 
At this time, her intelligent musician, supposed from her moving 
her feet, that she wished to be helped up to dance. She was 
speechless. At that instant a distant relation happened to come 
in to see her. Her eyes were closed, and it was impossible for 
her to have known of his presence. But hearing her musician 
speak of her being helped up, he immediately attempted to assist 
her. The effect was such an instantaneous increase of her con- 
vulsions, (they being before tonic,) that for a moment I felt alarm- 
ed at her immediate death. He was peremptorily desired to desist. 
Not being one of her relations myself, I helped her on to her feet, 
and stood near her, for about an hour and a half, during which 
time she continued dancing, but with such violent and exhausting 
energy, that she would have fallen several times, had I not sup- 
ported her. But after resting a minute, not more, she would re- 
sume the exercise, unless the music stopped, in which case her 
spasms, or convulsions, would resume their irregular action, 
either of the tonic, or clonic kind. 

As none of her relations could assist her, the family were 
obliged, at this time, to procure those not akin, to take care of her. 
It was even said, that when in her fits, her father's presence in 
the room, aggravated their violence. When out of them, all this 
aversion, as well as all the other marks of her morbid sensibility, 
vanished at once. 


Her hearing was afterwards said to have been so acutely in- 
creased, that she had been known to have heard what was said in 
a whisper, in another room. Of this the present writer cannot 
testify from his own knowledge, however. But he received his 
information from a matron lady of the first respectability, to 
whose hospitable dwelling Nancy was for a while removed, with 
the hope that change of place and scenery, might benefit her 
strange disorder, which continued from December until the next 
August, with some remissions before, and with some invasions 
after, that period. She finally recovered, and got married. It 
occurred in Rhode Island, whilst the present writer practised in 
that state. An account of it, with some further particulars, was 
published in the New York Medical Repository, Hex. 2, Vol. I. 
Art. 1. 

It was remarked to the writer, by the late Dr. Todd, Principal 
of the Retreat for the Insane, at Hartford, that it was the most 
extraordinary case, that he had ever heard, or read of. But this 
cannot now be said. 

§ 13. The case of Jane C. Rider, reported by Dr. Belden, of 
Springfield, and that of Mrs. Cass, by Drs. Bernard and Colby, 
of Samstead, Lower Canada, exceed it in the marvellous. And 
that of Miss M'Evoy, of Liverpool, is still more surprising than 
the whole. All these are of a much later date. And they are all 
so well and so respectably authenticated, as to be entirely beyond 
the surmise of exageration. And perhaps that of Rachel Baker, 
of New York, which also occurred since, was in some of its fea- 
tures, as extraordinary as any thing that we have related. 

A case is also mentioned by Dr. Rush, of which the present 
writer took a note from his manuscript Lectures, and which is a 
parallel to any one of the preceding. 

In the cases of Nancy Hazard, Jane C. Rider, and Mrs. Cass, 
there were some things common to all of them, and others, pecu- 
liar to each. One thing common to all, was, that they would walk 
the room in their paroxysms, and avoid running against furniture, 
or obstacles of any kind, with their eyes sh,ut, or rather drawn to- 
gether with the spasms, just as accurately as well persons with 
their eyes open could do. 


Another thing common to the three, was, that all that magie 
sensibility, which formed so prominent a feature in each of their 
cases, depended entirely upon their being in their fits. 

This last circumstance alone, does away the probability, or 
even the possibility, of there having been any deception, or aim 
at deception, in either of their cases — they not havino- the com- 
mand of themselves, or of their disorder, any more than a person 
who is struck down with the palsy, or has the pain of pleurisy in 
the side, or hermicrania in the head, or of adontalgia, or tooth- 
ache. It was also common, for all of them to be fatigued with 
the exertion of their extreme sensibility. 

Jane C. Rider, in her fits of Somnambulism, could read, in a 
room made totally dark. She could also read, and did read, in 
the presence of hundreds of respectable persons, with her eyes 
covered, and their sockets filled with cotton, and then a thick black 
silk handkerchief tied over the whole. And this, although her 
eyes were already shut. The same experiment was tried, by 
putting pieces of black velvet over her eyes, and tying them in 
their place, with a bandage before her eyes. She even sat the 
table, brought out the coffee cups on a salver, which she turned 
sideways to get through the door, cut the bread into slices, which 
slices she afterwards cut into two pieces each, by dividing the pile 
in the middle — went into the pantry when the window blinds 
were closed, and the door shut after her, and skimmed the milk, 
pouring the milk into one vessel, and the cream into another, 
without spilling a drop. All this was done in the darkness of 
night, without her having a light, and whilst she was in a fit, so 
severe as to keep her eyes shut. She even threaded a needle in 
the night with her eyes closed. 

But that she saw, through her closed eyelids, as people do when 
it lightens in the night, is evident, for in the day time, the light 
hurt her eyes so, that when she was in her fits, with her eyes shut, 
yet she would not suffer the bandage from before them to be re- 
moved for a single moment. Thus the increased sensibility of 
the optic nerve was so marvellously acute, that the visual rays 
would penetrate through her shut eyes, even with black velvet, 
and a handkerchief tied before them. 


§ 14. This fact, as well as others which we shall adduce, 
strengthens our theory of optics, that seeing consists in rays, 
emanating from the eye, and meeting other rays, emanating from 
the object seen. Hence different objects can be seen at different 
distances, according as the eye abounds with a multitude of rays, 
or only with a few of them ; or as the object towards which the 
eye is directed, emits more or less rays, which depends on the 
light, the clearness of the atmosphere, and the height of the 
winds ; it never being very dark in the night when the wind blows 
very high ; and always being very light in the day time when the 
weather is cold and the winds boisterous. 

The rays, or feelers of the eye, are secreted by that part of the 
brain from which the optic nerves arise, and these rays are con- 
veyed outside of the optic nerve, to its expansion into the retina, 
when they become visual rays, and are emitted and become sight 
by the medium of light. When a certain portion of them are ex- 
pended, the eye feels their loss, by the fatigue of sight and light, 
and requires the organ's quiesence, and finally its complete re- 
pose in slumber and darkness. Hence sleep ensues. High 
winds affect the right line of rays, from the eye to the object, and 
from the object to the eye ; so that, although it may be lighter in 
the day time, during clear cold weather, when the winds are high, 
yet vision cannot be extended to very distant objects so accurately 
as when it is calin. A copious secretion of visual rays, enables 
a person to see with less light, than when the secretion is sparing. 
In the case of Dr. Belden's patient, Miss Rider, this secretion 
was so profuse as to enable her to thread a needle with her eyes 
shut, in a dark room. And as the air pump can never exhaust 
every particle of air, so no place can be commonly made so utter- 
ly dark, but that some light remains, or finds admittance.* 
Enough indeed for Miss Rider to see to read in her fits, but not 
when out of them. 

But perhaps her reading in the dark, was not the most extraor- 
dinary trait of her disease ; for like Mrs. Cass, and Rachel Baker, 

* It is evident that the eye does not see until the secretion, transmission; and 
emission of these visual rays, because it cannot seeilsclf! No eye ever saw it- 
self; in a glass it sees its image by reflection, but not itself. 



she appeared to have a double soul, or a division of her soul, into 
two distinct parts. 

Rachel Baker, of New York, would preach excellent sermons, 
and make prayers, one of which we have read, and never read 
nor heard a better, or more appropriate one. But it was only 
whilst she was in a state of sleep, reverie, or somnambulism. 
When she was awake, she had no faculty or gift of the kind. 
This was repeatedly ascertained by Dr. Mitchell, and her nu- 
merous other visitors. Her waking soul could remember the 
things of time and sense, and the occurrences and business of 
the day ; but the soul of her reverie, could only recollect things 
serious, sacred and divine. It could connect one discourse with 
another, upon those important subjects. But being awake, and 
clothed and in her right mind, the chain was broken, the connec- 
tion lost, and nothing but a secular soul remained, until another 
paroxysm bid it give place to an essence, or entity, or spirituality, 
more etherial. So Miss Rider could only sing in her fits, and 
knew nothing of that art, out of them. She could repeat poetry, 
which she had heard, or read over, but had not committed or re- 
tained in her waking memory, but which was retained in her 
sleeping or reverie one. When in her fits, she could repeat a 
piece of poetry called the Pilgrim Fathers, and another called 
the Snoiv Storm, with precision of style, correctness of taste, and 
elegance of manner. But even after having recited these pieces, 
both spontaneously, and at the request of her visitors for weeks, 
her physician ascertained that when out of her fits and in her 
normal state, that she could not repeat even one single stanza of 
either of them. Her sleeping or reverie fits at first attacked her 
only in the night, but they afterwards invaded her in the day time, 
and for the first time, as she was obtaining water from the pump, 
out of doors ; and that then her vision became so keen that she 
could see the sun through the clouds, was proved by her remarks, 
which were — What a beautiful day it is — hoxo bright the sun 
shines, when in fact it was quite cloudy. 

She was afterwards carried to the Insane Hospital, at Worces- 
ter, under the care of Dr. Woodward ; and it became evident 
there, as it had done to Dr. Belden, before she went there, that 
her reverie or somnambulism mind, was distinct from her waking 


one, by her hiding tilings which she could not find herself when 
out of her fits, but which she found without difficulty, when anoth- 
er paroxysm occurred. At the hospital, she was seen to read 
with her eyes closely bandaged, with pieces of black velvet over 
them, under the bandage. And in this situation, she learned the 
game of back-gammon, and so rapid was her progress, that she 
won the sixth game of Dr. Butler, an experienced player, but 
whose hints, respecting her movements, she would not follow, but 
took her own course, and the result shewed the accuracy of her 
reverie-judgment. But when after this she awoke, or came out 
of her fit, it was proposed to her to play a game of back-gammon, 
she professed her entire ignorance of the game, and that she 
never saw it played. On trial it was found that she could not 
even set the men* She learned it however, whilst awake, but her 
waking mind proved far inferior to her sleeping one, in the man- 
agement and success of her movements in the little-battle of 

That Miss Rider actually saw when her eyes were shut and 
bandaged, was justly inferred from her holding up things before 
the bandage, as other people do before their eyes, and by her 
then telling what they were, and reading a book correctly. 

In the case which occurred at Sanstead, Lower Canada, to 
Drs. Bernard and Colby, the patient, Mrs. Cass, made very 
good poetry of a religious kind, and exhorted, and sung, when in 
her fits. Her aptitude for rhyming, was the effect of her illness, 
as she had never shewn any taste of the kind in health. This 
woman's sight, or at any rate her faculty of perceiving what was 
done in her room, had been transferred to other nerves than those 
of her eye ; and in this respect her case resembled that of Miss 
M'Evoy, hereafter to be noticed ; both of whom were furnished 
with substitutes to their organs of vision ; Mrs. Cass, when in 
her fits, and Miss M'Evoy, when blind, by defect of her eyes, 
when in her right mind. 

* The reader who wishes to see a more full account of this interesting case, 
can consult the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. xi. Nos. 4 and 
5, where he will hud a well written account of it by L. W. Belden, M. D. of 
Springfield, Mass. We introduce our own physiological and pathological 
views, of which others will judge, upon this and other cases. 


In relation to all these cases, as well as to that which we shall 
hereafter notice, derived from the venerable Dr. Rush, a remark 
of Dr. Colby is very appropriate, viz. that by those who disre- 
gard all testimony he does not expect to be heard ; and that, if 
facts are to be rejected ' , the inductive principles of Bacon will no 
longer give certainty to science, and they of course, will be rejected 
by all who refuse to be convinced by the weakness of human testi- 

Those who deny that Miss Rider could see in a dark room, are 
desired to find a place so dark that a cat cannot see in ? And 
those who deny that the office of the optic nerves may not be 
transferred to other nerves, or that by means of the nerves, that 
there may be perception without contact, otherwise than by the 
eyes, are referred to the experiments made upon the bat, by Spal- 
Ianzanni ; which creature when blinded, and even after its eyes 
had been extirpated, or to use the words of the late Dr. Pardon 
Bo wen, had been all dug out, would fly about a room, in which 
cords and lines had been made to cross each other in every possi- 
ble direction, without flying against, coming in contact with, or 
touching one of them. These remarks he made to the present 
writer, in relation to the case of Nancy Hazard.* 

§ 15. We think upon the subject of optics, that the nervous 
rays are secreted by that part of the brain from which the second 
pair, or optic nerves arise ; and that in some cases, that it may be 
so conducted by other nerves, to other parts, besides the eye, as to 
answer the purposes of vision. But we do not think, that when 
that part of the brain which secretes the optical rays, becomes so 
diseased as to Jose its office, that this can ever possibly be done. 

We once attended the post-mortem inspection of a man who 
had died with a lingering disease of the brain ; who during his 
illness, and it was long, had a variety of anomalous symptoms, 
and for about the space of three weeks, had been totally blind, 
before his death. There was in this case, a softening of that 
part of the brain from which the optic nerves arise, so as that the 
nerve of one side was entirely detached from the main part of 

* Dr. Colby refers to Dr. Good, as having noticed this peculiarity of the bat's 
avoiding obstructions that arc neither seen, smelt, heard, touched or tasted. 


the cerebrum or brain, with a piece of the latter, however, hang- 
ing or attached to it, of about the size of a walnut. The other 
optic nerve, or that branch of it which went to the other eye, was 
much in the same state, though not entirely detached. Around 
the detached portions of the brain, and in the cavity from which 
they had been separated, there was a semi-fluid substance, re- 
sembling the matter of scrophulous abscesses. In this case, or 
in any case having any similarity to it, we should not expect that 
the same phenomena which occurred in the cases of Mrs. Cass, 
and Miss M'Evoy, could possibly occur ; and nothing of the 
kind had occurred in this man. 

§ 16. Upon the subject of metastasis, to which Dr. Colby 
refers, we have seen the history of a case, arising from the me- 
tastasis of small pox, in which all the phenomena of extreme 
sensibility were the consequences which we have related to have 
occurred in the case of Nancy Hazard, and with some manifesta- 
tions still more striking. 

§ 17. Mrs. Cass for a while was entirely blind, which goes to 
prove that the visual rays which usually go from the brain to the 
eye, had a transfer or metastasis to other nerves, for when blind, 
and with her face turned towards the other part of the room, she 
could still perceive, and tell every person who came into her 
room, and every thing that was done in it, even to the moving a 
vial, and all correctly ! She appears also to have kept the hour 
of the day and night by her own feelings, without the aid of a 
time piece. And one of her physicians says, that " guided by 
her internal sensation she directed means for her recovery." 
These means were cupping four times on her stomach, and the 
use of the warm bath. The latter had not been suggested before, 
but it was resorted to, and Mrs. Cass ultimately recovered, after a 
degree and length of suffering seemingly too much for human 
nature to endure. For four weeks at one time, she was in her fits 
of reverie, without any other sleep than somnambulism. And 
when she was entirely blind with her eyes, she was still so dis- 
tressed at the approach of light, that her attendants were obliged 
to keep the room in darkness. This is certainly as strong a proof 


of the transfer, or metastasis of visual perception, as can possibly 
be adduced or desired. 

The wit and sarcasm, sometimes manifested by Mrs. Cass 
shews that some part of her sufferings was owing to that hydra- 
headed disturber of female comfort, hysterics, a disorder which is 
regular in nothing but irregularity. 

This transfer of the senses is not entirely a new thing, although 
its being so extremely rare, has caused it to be denied, and that 
from a source from which we should have little expected. 

§ 18. Dr. Rush, who seldom omitted to notice any well au- 
thenticated fact, however strange, which could throw light upon 
his profession, has left a case of the kind upon record. It was 
that of a woman who lived near Lyons, who had a confusion of 
all the senses. She tasted with her touch, and heard with her 
eyes, when her ears were closely stopped. 

When the present writer's account of Nancy Hazard's case 
was first published, he feared with some of his friends, that he 
had laid his own veracity, and the belief of his readers, under too 
heavy a load ; whilst those who were much with her, and espe- 
cially a gentleman who was an amateur on the violin, and who 
attended day and night at her abode, in order to mitigate her ter- 
rible fits by music, thought that I had passed too lightly over the 
wonderful features of her case. It is true that there were some 
things told by others, which he did not see himself, which were 
omitted : he was then young, and the case new. But up to the 
present time, cases of a similar kind, (except their not having 
arisen from the bite of a spider,) have so much multiplied, that 
Miss Hazard's case is somewhat thrown into the shade. Such 
cases are wonderful because few and far apart. Still, there does 
not appear to be any thing in anyone of them, absolutely incon- 
sistent with philosophical and physiological principles. 

§ 19. But after all, a gentleman of another profession, that of 
Divinity, has given a case from his own examination, which ex- 
ceeds all that the physicians who have related the foregoing cases, 
have told ; and it differs from them all, in this, that the young 


lady who was the subject of his experiments, was not in fits, and 
never appears to have been afflicted with them. 

The Rev. T. Glover, is the clergyman alluded to, and Miss 
M'Evoy, of Liverpool, the patient, who became blind in 1816, in 
the month of June. The cause of her blindness, as supposed, 
was water on the brain, hydrocephalus internus. Of this head- 
dropsy, she was relieved by the discharge of water from the ears 
and nostrils, but this did not remove her blindness. The October 
following, she accidentally discovered that she could read, by 
touching the letters of a book. The Reverend gentleman visited 
her, and found this to be the case, and he tells us that she read a 
line or two of fine print by feeling the letters. Her age was then 
about seventeen. But he did not fail of testing her powers, in 
such a way as to satisfy himself, that her eyes had no agency in 
her extraordinary faculty. He had her blindfolded, so that he 
was certain that not a ray of light could penetrate to her eyes. 
And he put her sight by feeling, to a test far more delicate than 
that of reading. He first inclosed six wafers of diiferent colors, 
between two plates of common window glass, and as he tells us, 
by touching the glass, " she accurately told the color of each." 
Here then was something more than telling colors by the touch, 
for she could not touch the colors. It absolutely appears that she 
had sight at her finger-ends. Still, we will not decide this point 
too hastily. But we must decide, that this was the fact, or that 
her exquisite sensibility, could feel a reflection, a shadow, a shade. 
And from what is next told us, by the Reverend Experimenter, 
this rather appears to have been the true explanation. He says, 
that " all objects appeared to her as if painted on the glass." 
She was obliged to touch the glass in order to discover and de- 
scribe the color, whereas, if she could have seen with her fingers, 
what need would there have been for her touching the glass X 
This and what follows, confirms our theory of optics better than 
any experiment which we have known. It is that the rays of 
the eye touch, or meet the rays from the object which is seen. 

By touching the glass of the window, which looked into the 
street, she could describe the passers by, and what was going on, 
and what was lying there. But it does not appear that very dis- 
tant objects were to be discovered by her. 


In one of the experiments to which Mr. Glover subjected her, 
he tells us that, on applying her fingers to the window, she per- 
ceived two newly cut stones, of a yellow color, lying the one on 
the other, at the distance of twelve yards. And in the same way 
she described a workman in the street ; two children passing by ; 
a cart loaded with American flour ; another cart with loaves of 
sugar, and a third cart empty, and a girl with a small child in her 
arms. It did not appear that she had in her fingers, the sense of 
taste, like the woman mentioned by Dr. Rush ; for she could not 
tell the difference between pure water, and water mixed with salt 
by touching them. Nor was there the power of distinguishing 
colors by touching colored articles with the tip of her tongue ; but 
by putting the petals of flowers between her lips, she could tell 
their color, and the difference of color, in differently colored 
petals, exactly. She could accurately describe persons whom she 
had never seen before, by holding a piece of glass in her fingers 
betwixt them and herself, they seeming to be painted on the glass. 
But without a piece of glass this she could not tell. She could 
tell gold and silver from steel. She said that gold and silver felt 
finer than other metals. Her feeling itself, therefore, must have 
been extremely delicate ; but did it enable her to describe the 
carts, and persons, and other objects in the streets of Liverpool, 
or was there actual vision in her fingers ? We were at first incli- 
ned to the latter opinion. But from her being obliged to touch 
the glass, we incline to the opinion that the whole must be refer- 
red to the sense of feeling exquisitely sublimed. If she could 
actually have seen, she could have described what was passing 
in the streets, without touching the glass of the window. But 
this she could not do. 

As persons can, with the eye distinguish a shadow, a shade, 
and a reflection, her sense of touch could do the same. The 
nearer an object is to us, the plainer appears its shadow. Nor 
are shadows and shades discernable at any great distance. And 
agreeably to this theory, Mr. Glover tells us, that she said, that a 
man at the distance of only twelve yards, did not appear to her 
more than two feet high. And that an ornament, in imitation 
of an orange, she mistook for a real orange, but said, that at the 
distance of 30 inches, that it did not appear larger than a pea. 


By touching a mirror with her fingers, she could perceive no- 
thing but her fingers. But by holding a piece of plain glass 
three or four inches from the looking glass, she could discover the 
image of her own person. Yet, if the mirror was removed fur- 
ther off, she said that her face was diminished in size. 

Mr. Glover says, that her power of telling colors, was more 
perfect at.some times than at other times, and that at some peri- 
ods it entirely failed, every thing appearing black to her. 

The Reverend gentleman appears to have been a very accurate, 
scientific, and philosophic investigator. And he carried his ex- 
periments and trials of her surprising faculty, to the number of 
twenty ; and with such a degree of scrutanizing accuracy, that 
there was no possibility of deception, had she had any intention 
to have deceived — but this she appears not to have had. And the 
results were full and satisfactory. She could not perceive colors 
in the dark, which is one of the strongest proofs of a metastasis, 
or transfer, of the visual rays to her fingers. And that her power 
of feeling so nearly resembled sight, that light was necessary. 

In this respect she was unlike Nancy Hazard, Jane C. Rider, 
and Mrs. Cass, all of whom had a morbid, or sickly sensibility. 
A sensibility which existed only in fits, somnambulism, or reverie. 
It was, therefore, more acute whilst it lasted, than the sensibility 
of Miss M'Evoy, but it was less permanent. And the sensibility 
of the latter was more consonant with health. It seems that upon 
this point, that repeated trials were made, and that she failed in 
them all. Objects differently colored, were put under a pillow, 
and when she touched them, they all appeared alike dark. A 
green card she once said was yellow. This is a proof that no 
deception was attempted, and that light was necessary. 

But there was one similar trait in Miss M'Evoy, to the three 
patients mentioned above, which is yet to be more particularly 
noticed. She had intervals in which she had not the faculty of 
telling colors, even when it was light, and when she also had that 
necessary appendage, a pane, or piece of window glass, in her 
hand. We refer this deprivation to the brain and optic nerves ; 
and to their not secreting a sufficient quantity of the rays of vision, 
to reach such distant parts as the ends of the fingers, unimpaired 
in quality, or deficient in quantity, or both — nature having prima- 


rily designed that these rays should reach only an inch and a half, 
or a little more than two inches at farthest, to act on the eye ; 
whilst in being transferred to the ends of the fingers, they had to 
travel to the distance of at least three feet, in a person of less 
than middle height. 

And we ought not to omit to notice also, that when the rays of 
visual perception, had reached thus far, that they met a very dif- 
ferent and deficient apparatus, from the eye itself — we mean the 
finger ends. 

We view the brain as a vast secreting sui generis, gland ; des- 
tined to secrete the senses, and we view the nerves as destined to 
transmit them to their appropriate organs. And we view the 
pineal gland, as a moving substance, designed to transmit on the 
outside of the nerves, the nervous spirit or juice, and as being 
the heart of the brain, in its circulating the sensual fluids, as 
the heart of the body does the blood ; and that when diseased na- 
ture errs, and sends the visual producing power to the fingers, or 
to the nerves of other parts, besides the eye, that something like 
vision may be produced, wherever it is sent. 

Hence, when the woman mentioned by Dr. Rush, could hear 
with her eyes, with her ears closely stopped, the auditory liquid 
was seut to the eyes. 

This also developes the reason why persons have been known 
to hear, whose tympanum, or drum of the ear, was destroyed. 
The extremities of the nervous fibrils, answering as a substitute 
to the drum of the ear, and receiving the auditory spirit of the 
brain, or liquid of hearing ; which, as related to sight, was in 
the case of Mrs. Cass, transmitted to the surface of the body. 

Miss M'Evoy could not only read by touching the letters, but 
by the aid of a convex lens, she could read, and did read, in the 
presence of Mr. Glover, with her fingers nine inches from the 
book. He observes, that when reading, she gently rubs the up- 
per surface of the lens with the tips of her fingers. . She said that 
the letters appeared larger through the lens than without it. The 
reader must still remember, that she in this experiment, as in all 
the rest, was so completely blindfolded, that not a ray of light 
could reach her eyes, even if she could have seen— which she 
could not, she being totally blind. 


We have seen it noticed by another visitor to this young wo- 
man, that she could tell, and did accurately tell, the time of day, 
by feeling the glass, or crystal of a watch. 

Mr. Glover tried her sense of feeling as to the seven prismatic 
colors, painted on a card. To these she gave the names of scar- 
let, buff, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue or purple, and lilac. 
Mr. G. says, that as the orange paint was much faded, the term 
buff was correctly applied to it. 

When she was reading through the glass lens, by feeling it, a 
penknife was laid upon the line, and she immediately perceived 
it, and told what it was. 

Why Miss M'Evoy was unable to discern objects which she did 
not touch, only by the medium of a glass, Mr. Glover could offer 
no conjecture. 

Upon this point we would remark, that the eye is able to dis- 
tinguish colors, shadows, and shades ; and that the reflection, or 
shadow of any object is strongest when a transparent medium, 
such as glass, water, or polished steel, refracts the rays of light. 

As her delicacy of touch had acquired the acme of sight, the 
problem has its solution by a reference to this fact. 

And in the case of Miss Hazard, something of a parallel delica- 
cy we ourselves witnessed. For after feeling the hand of any of 
the spectators, (with a pilloAV before her eyes,) she would after- 
wards tell, by feeling of a piece of money, to whom it belonged. 
That is, if she had before felt the hand of its owner, and he handed 
it to her. 

We tried this experiment personally ourselves. But if a piece 
of money belonging to another person, was handed to her by me, 
it appeared to puzzle her to tell to whom it belonged, and if she 
decided, she decided doubtingly, as to the two, i. e. as to myself 
and the other person who had handled it. 

The objects which Miss M'Evoy could distinguish and describe, 
made a shadowy alteration on the surface of the glass, which her 
fingers could distinguish, just as do the eyes of other persons. 

Without entering at the present time upon a discussion of that 
doubtful question, whether the images of things seen, are painted 
in an inverted position upon the eye, or upon any part of it, we 
will mention some things which do appear more evident. 


1. Sight, is an emanation from the eye, of rays, which meet 
another kind of rays, coming from the object, or objects, which 
are seen, or the object itself. That the rays of vision must go out 
from the eye, in order for it to see, is evident, because the eye 
cannot see itself. No person ever saw his own eye, no eye ever 
saw itself, although by means of a mirror it has seen its image. 
Now if seeing be the inverted painting of the object seen, upon 
the eye, why cannot the eye see itself, and describe its different 
parts 1 Why not see its own pupil, and crystalin lens, and vitre- 
ous humour, and cornea, and retina, and be able to point them 
out 1 This no person can do, let his anatomical knowledge be 
never so accurate, or his eyesight never so acute. 

2. The rays going out from the eye, must meet the rays com- 
ing from the object seen, or else vision will not ensue. And un- 
less refraction takes place, both kinds of rays travel in direct 
lines, and must of necessity so travel, in order to insure vision. 
Seeing, is therefore one kind of feeling. And in Miss Hazard, 
Miss M'Evoy, Miss Rider, and Mrs. Cass, feeling was one kind 
of seeing. 

3. We should place the rays of vision sent out by the eye, to 
the account of the aqueous humour. This humour being a real 
spirit, which will not freeze in the coldest weather ; it being also 
secretable and renewable. For in cases where it has been let out, 
as in extracting the cataract, it is again reproduced. The con- 
stant expenditure of this humour, whilst the eye acts, calls for a 
continued supply of it, and this nature has provided, for if it is all 
pressed out, its natural cavity is again filled with it, and that so 
soon as ten, twelve, or at farthest, twenty hours. This is well 
known to operators who extract cataracts. 

4. The rays coming from the paper upon which we are writing, 
feel differently upon the retina of the eye, from the letters which 
we make. And so of all other colors and objects. 

A metastasis, or transfer, of the aqueous humour of the eye, to 
the ends of the fingers, or to the other cutaneous nerves, would 
enable a person's touch to perform the offices of the eye. 

This we think is proved by the cases of the four women above 


5. In the case of Dr. Belden's patient, there was an ability to 
discern objects in a dark room. This faculty has been acquired 
by prisoners who have been long confined in dark dungeons. And 
in the case of Miss Rider, the patient referred to, disease produ- 
ced the same power at once. Whilst bats have the same pecu- 
liarity, naturally. 

We learn, therefore, that one set of nerves are endued with the 
ability of sometimes performing the offices of another set. This 
is paralleled by one set of organs doing the duties of others which 
are lost, or which nature never bestowed. 

We have seen a boy in Peal's Museum, write legibly with his 
pen between his toes, he having been born without arms or hands. 
And we have seen very striking pictures which were drawn by a 
girl, with the pen or pencil held by the mouth, she having been 
born without fingers or toes. 

And Dr. Good gives instances of persons having been able to 
talk intelligibly, after their tongues had been entirely cut out. 
And in relation to hearing, it has been known still to have re- 
mained, after the loss of the tympanum, and the eight little bones 
of the ears ; the extremities of the auditory nerves, supplying 
the loss of the whole complicated machinery. 

When the teeth are lost, in aged people, the dissolving quality 
of a certain very important liquor in the stomach, is so increased, 
that the food is nearly or quite as well digested, as it was whilst 
the teeth remained. This liquor is called the gastric juice. It 
dissolves the food, and even corrodes and destroys metals, as was 
proved in the instance of a foolish fellow, who swallowed in imita- 
tion of a mountebank, a number of clasp-knives. The experi- 
ment however cost him his life, by one of the springs of the back 
of a knife penetrating his bowels. 

6. The rays of vision, the rays of light, and the rays proceeding 
from an object in view, all agree in penetrating a transparent 
medium, such as glass, diamonds, crystal, mica, &c. And they 
all agree, also, in not penetrating any opaque substance. Whilst 
the more dense substance, water, will be absorbed, or pass into 
wood, but cannot make its way into glass. We saw an instance 
of this to day. A door, which had panes of glass fixed into it, 
exhibited no signs of moisture upon its surface, whilst on the 


glass, the exhalations of steam from a stove in the room, stood in 
drops, and even ran down in little rills upon the wood from the 

7. There was one experiment to which the Rev. Mr. Glover 
subjected Miss M'Evoy, which shewed the faculty of perception 
in her fingers in a manner as exquisite as any one which we have 
already noticed, and perhaps more so. 

It would indeed of itself be sufficient to prove that she had the 
quality of sight, or its congener in her touch. And had it been 
seen by Sir Isaac Newton, would, as we think, have staggered 
that philosopher in his theory, of that part of his optics, in which 
he supposes that sight is the result of the object seen, being paint- 
ed in an inverted position upon the retina of the eye. The ex- 
periment was as follows : 

Two polished pieces of glass pressed togther, exhibited betwixt 
them rings and circles ; and Miss M'Evoy, by touching the sur- 
face of one of these plates, was able to perceive and to describe 
them. They seemed to her, as she said, to be flying before her 

Had this, and the other manifestations of transferred sensibility, 
which she, and the other ladies which we have mentioned display- 
ed, been seen by Cotton Mather, he would undoubtedly have 
referred them to witchcraft. 

We cannot but here award the meed of praise to Mr. Glover, 
for his perseverance, and patience, and ingenuity. He was three 
days in making his experiments and observations. He had others 
with him to witness the extraordinary phenomena exhibited, and 
he frequently repeated them. The young woman received no 
compensation from her visitors, and had no motive to have de- 
ceived them, even if deception had been possible. 

We have full confidence in the narrative of the Rev. clergyman, 
and with increased confidence in ourselves, we can assure the 

* The rays emanating from objects, are rays of light, colored with the par- 
ticular color of the object seen. Those from a red apple are red, those from a 
green apple green, and those from an orange yellow. In order for vision to 
take place, these rays must meet those secreted by the optic nerves, whether 
they are retained in the eye, or whether they be transferred to the fingers, or to 
some other part of the body. 


reader that what we have related with respect to Nancy Hazard, 
in our younger years, is fully in our remembrance, and entirely 

8. We would refer to the rings and circles exhibited by pressing 
together two plates of polished glass, as the visible concentration 
of the rays sent out from the eye, the rays of light, and the rays 
emanating from the glass itself, in visible combination, or mixture. 

We may here inquire how the Newtonian theory of light, which 
consists in its being formed of the prismatic colors, as emitted by 
the sun, applies to the light given by the lamp, by which we are 
at present writing 1 

§ 20. We are told of Margaret Rule, Cotton Mather's be- 
witched girl, that she was lifted up to the ceiling of her room, and 
held so firmly that several persons were required to pull her down. 
This the Rev. Doctor relates, as having himself been an eye 
witness of. 

A phenomenon exhibited by the house-fly, had he looked over 
head in the room, might have been equally mysterious. We every 
day see this insect crawling and sleeping with its back downwards. 
A sight which is so common that we think little of its being, as 
it is, very wonderful. 

And we are told in the Life of Columbus, that the discoverer 
of the ~New World, discovered a new mode of fishing among the 
Indians of some of the Carribee Islands. It consisted in fasten- 
ing a certain kind of live fish to the line, which by suction would 
adhere so fast to the fish in the sea, that both were pulled out of 
water together. This fishing-fish would sometimes hold on so 
fast to a rock, as to suffer itself to be pulled apart, rather than 
quit its hold. 

Man, in health and in disease, both together, is a microcosm 
of almost every phenomenon. And if we are to believe Mr. 
Mather, Ave must suppose that the girl's hysterical disease, fur- 
nished her with the power of the house-fly, and of this fish, in 
overcoming the power of gravity. 

But it is more than probable, that this Margaret Rule held on 
to a nail, or hook, or some other substance, with a convulsive or 
hysterical gfa. c p, which is even in weak women, sometimes ama- 


zino-ly powerful — as we have seen a girl, in hysteric fits, who re- 
quired five men to hold her on to the bed, and who would manage 
a man at arm's end, just as she pleased, or rather as her convul- 
sions tended. 

We certainly ought to be cautious how we cry out witchcraft, 
until we have ascertained what diseases, deprivations, idiosyncra- 
sy, and training, will do. 

Had Cotton Mather possessed the same knowledge, the same 
tact of discrimination, and the same independent spirit, as the 
Rev. Mr. Glover, we should have heard little, perhaps nothing at 
all, of the Salem witchcraft. 

The human frame is a structure of no ordinary wonder and 
amazement, when in health. But when subjected to disease, like 
the sea agitated by a storm, its appearances become still more in- 

§21. The universality of deception is worthy of notice. There 
are in the vegetable world, certain plants which resemble each 
other, and in most of their sensible qualities appear alike, and 
yet one of them is a wholesome nutritious food, whilst the other 
is a noxious poison. 

There are minerals which bear a near affinity in appearance, 
such as yellow arsenic and sulphur, and yet the former is deleteri- 
ous even unto death, whilst the latter is a mild and useful medi- 

There are serpents whose figure, color, violence, and spirit, are 
- commensurate with the most harmful of their race, and yet they 
can only frighten, for they have no fangs, nor no poison. 

In the heavens, clouds which send forth the hurricane, and 
pour down the hail, have their exact patterns in other clouds which 
do neither, but pass away to the east, and leave the western sun 
more delightful, without moving a leaf or moistening a blade. 

The fogbank, and the iceberg, delude the anxious mariner with 
the hope of his near approach to land, but he finds himself de- 
ceived, disappointed, and sometimes ruined. 

Like the fig-tree, other trees and plants present the appearan- 
ces of fruit fine and fair, and yet when approached, we find 
nothing but leaves. 



The mirage of the desert, which is a refraction of the rays of 
light by the atmosphere, tantalizes the thirsty traveller with the 
appearance of water, but he finds himself mocked, and that the 
appearance is all, and that no water is to be felt or tasted. 

Not a drop to cool his tongue, or to quench his burning thirst 
is to be found, although to his eye, the coveted beverage, like a 
flowing flood, or running river, seemed almost within his reach. 

Thus the universality of deception, is very surprising indeed. 
What we find so abundantly displayed in minerals, vegetables, 
animals, and serials, we shall most assuredly find in the bodies, 
souls, and minds of men. 

There is a propensity in many people to refer their diseases 
and disasters to the wrong source — to the negligence, or malice, 
or avarice, or ambition, of some individual, who is entirely uncon- 
scious of harm. The politician, and soldier, refer their maladies 
to what they did and suffered for the cause of the people — the 
student, to his intense study — the valetudinarian, to the ignorance 
or quackery of his medical man, or to the mistakes of his nurse. 

The man of business accuses the captain of the steam boat, or 
the conductor on the rail-road, of delay, or precipitation or mis- 

The lady-patient, in one chamber, had the foundation of her 
illness laid, whilst a girl at a boarding school, by food too scanty 


or bad, or both together. In the next chamber is another lady, 
ill from having stopped at the wrong inn, where was a poor fire, 
bad tea, and damp sheets. 

The man in one ward of the hospital imputes his lameness to 
his master, whilst he was an apprentice, overloading him. In 
another ward is a coachman, who sat so long in the cold, whilst 
his mistress was making calls, that his feet were frozen. In a 
third ward is a boy with an aneurism, which he imputes to a 
blow from another boy. 

In that house lives a lady who is nervous, and has every kind of 
bad health, caused, as she supposes, by her very hypochondrical 
father, enjoining upon her to sit by his bed-side, when she was a 
girl, and hold his two hands betwixt hers * If through extreme 
fatigue and monotony she loosened her hold, her father would 
immediately cry out, " Lizzy, you dont hold my hands." His 
fits of low spirits occurred in the winter, when cold was added to 
the fatigue of her sitting for hours, in one position, at the bed-side 
of her father. 

Thus the disorders of all the sick, are referred to accidental 
causes, and no one is ill from the fragility of his frame, the fiat of 
fate, or constitutional decay or decline. All have, at least just 
now, a bad cold, caught whilst visiting a sick neighbor, or from 
having been exposed in performing some official duty. 

This kind of erroneous principle, when fostered by parents, and 
friends, and nurses, and as in the Salem hysterical girls, by min- 
isters, and officers, and courts, goes far, in our minds, towards 
developing the mysterious mania, which led to the horrors of what 
is called the Salem witchcraft. 

We are by no means certain that similar scenes might not be 
conjured up in our day, were there a sufficient number of unprin- 
cipled abettors to begin the business, and were our ministers, and 
deacons, and judges, and the community, possessed with the same 
erroneous feelings, and disposed to let them go into action. Hap- 
pily, this is not the case. 

* This case is founded on fact; both the father and daughter were patients 
of the present writer. She was his favorite child. The man was Lieut. 
Governor of the state in which he lived. 



§ 22. The magical practices of our Indian aborigines, appear 
to have been rather of a harmless kind, and were sometimes con- 
nected with their religion, sometimes with their medicine, and 
sometimes with their politics, and at others with their amusements 
and dances. 

Lieut. Pike, of the U. S. army, afterwards General Pike, relates 
his having been present at one of their religious, or medicinal 
dances, composed of both sexes, all dressed in their gayest attire, 
every dancer holding a small skin of some animal in his or her 
hand. This skin appeared to be the wand of their magic. They 
ran up to each other with these skins, one would point his skin 
at another, and puff with his breath. The one thus blown upon, 
of which ever sex, would instantly fall and appear almost lifeless, 
or in great agony, and after a slow recovery, join in the dance. 
But these blowers, who have the pretended power of blowing 
others down, are of a particular class of initiated persons, and the 
secret costs them forty or fifty dollars, besides giving the society 
a feast. 

Mr. Frazer, who was with Lieut. Pike, on the upper Mississip- 
pi, was in one of the Indian lodges, when one of these blowers 
came in. The young men immediately threw their blankets over 
him and forced him out. Upon their seeing Mr. Frazer laugh at 


them, they called him a fool, and told him he did not know what 
the dancer could blow into his body.* 

It appears by the account of a missionary to the North West 
coast, that the Indians there held to something like the metemp- 
sychosis of the Greeks. Le Koote, the Chief of the Turn Garse 
told him, that of those who died, some were not well received 
above, and were in consequence but sparingly supplied with food 
and drink. These, he added, came back, and assumed another 
body. He gave an instance of this kind. It was of a certain 
chief who was killed on board of an American ship. After his 
death, he appeared to his wife and told her that he was the iden- 
tical child which was about to be born of her ; and that after the 
child's birth, the scars of the wounded chief, were found on the 
infant. It would appear by the story that the child was a male, 
and the circumstance of the scars, was considered as a proof of 
the truth of this doctrine. But we may remark, that there are 
many infants born with marks upon them among us. These 
marks are imputed to fright, or to some strong impression made 
upon the mother's feelings or imagination. We well recollect a 
certain young lady, who had what resembled a piece of the skin 
of a nicely roasted pig upon her arm. Her mother attributed 
this mark, or ncevi materni, to her having been disappointed of a 
certain piece of a roasted pig, at a wedding, whilst pregnant with 
this daughter. 

But medical histories abound with instances still more striking; 
one of which is that of a woman in Holland, who attended the 
execution of a criminal who was beheaded, when she was preg- 
nant ; and who was in process of time delivered of a dead infant, 
with the head entirely detached from the body. 

Many years past we had a very respectable clergyman who 
was for several years an inmate of our family, and who had five 
fingers beside the thumb, on each hand ; and he had an only son 
and child, whom we saw, who had the same peculiarity. The 
clergyman also informed us, that his father had the same number 
of fingers ; and that it was produced by his grandfather having 
split his thumb into two parts accidentally with an axe, in sight 
of his wife. 

* Med. Rep. Hex. ii. Vol. iv. p. 378,379. 


We think that instances of this kind are too well authenticated 
to be denied, and that they sufficiently account for the fact related 
by Le Koote, to the missionary. 

In order to get at the true Indian character, we must consult 
those travellers, or their works, who remarked upon it before they 
had much connection with the whites. 

Alexander Henry, Esq. travelled among the Canadian tribes 
as early as from 1760 to 1776. He gives an account of one of 
their juggling physicians, and his patient, who was a girl of about 
twelve years of age, and who appeared to Mr. Henry, to have 
had a fever, and to be in the last stage of consumption. 

The Indian's mode of practice was that of sucking away the 
disease through small hollow tubes, applied to her breast, or tho- 
rax. His tubes appeared to be the wing bones of a swan. But 
he accompanied his practice with a song and a rattle, and swal- 
lowed the tubes himself, after the application of sucking was over. 
Or at least two out of three of them were swallowed by himself. 
The swallowing, or apparent swallowing of the tubes, put the 
doctor into terrible agony, which he evidenced by throwing his 
body about in horrid contortions. And the bringing them up was 
equally distressing. Upon bringing up the second tube, which 
appeared to have a small groove outside of it, a substance was 
found by him which Mr. Henry says, resembled a small part of 
the quill of a feather. This was handed about as a trophy, and 
declared to be the cause of the girl's disease. His practice was 
however, unsuccessful, for his patient died the next day. 

Mr. Henry tells us, that their jouers, or jugglers, believe that 
by drawing the figure of a person in sand, ashes, or clay, or by 
considering a tree, stump, or hillock, as his substitute, that any 
injury inflicted upon it, will be felt by the person himself, whose 
figure the hillock or stump represents. This puts us in mind 
again of the Salem witchcraft. Persons accused of being witch- 
es, were complained of by their accusers, in court, of pinching 
and pricking them there, when they were out of reach of each 
other. And those sage Salem judges, had such persons' hands 
tied, when the accusers declared themselves relieved of their tor- 
ments ! This circumstance alone, is sufficient proof of the whole 
being the work of imagination and malice. The Indian man 


and woman in the family of Mr. Parris, probably taught these 
notions to his children. Mr. Henry tells us, that these Jouers are 
supposed to be able to inflict death upon an absent person, by mu- 
tilating his imagined image ; and he saw one of them ripped up 
and killed by an Indian man, who accused him of having killed 
his brother by his magic arts, exercised in this very way. 

§ 23. Some persons, more competent to judge than ourselves, 
have supposed a most striking similarity between the account 
given by Mr. Henry, of the Indians at the Sault of St. Mary, con- 
sulting the Great Turtle, and that of the ancient Greeks, con- 
sulting their oracles. It took place in 1764. 

That such coincidences should have existence in a matter of 
such a strange, ambiguous, and eccentric character as the present, 
is much more wonderful than that they should occur in the con- 
struction of buildings, the systems of government, or the similar- 
ity of ornaments and decorations. 

Mr. Henry's account is to the following effect : for invoking 
and consulting the Great Turtle, the first thing to be done was, 
the erection of a large house or wigwam, of such dimensions as 
to contain the whole tribe. Within this large structure was a 
tent erected for the use of the priest, and the reception of the 
spirit. This tent, its construction, and what took place within it, 


form the grand arcana of the whole performance. It was con- 
structed with five poles, or rather pillars, of eight inches diameter, 
and ten feet in height. These pillars were set about two feet into 
the earth, into holes dug for the purpose, and then the earth 
thrown out, put back around them. At the top, these pillars 
were bound together with a circular hoop or girder. They were 
set in a circular form, and at bottom inclosed a space of about 
four feet in diameter. They were of wood, of five different spe- 
cies, and covered over with skins of the moose, which were made 
fast with thongs of the same. A part however, of one side', was 
left unfastened, to admit of the entrance of the grand dramatist, 
the priest. The ceremonies did not commence but with the ap- 
proach of night. To give light within the great wigwam, several 
fires were kindled within it, around this tent. Nearly the whole 
village assembled within the first inclosure, and Mr. Henry among 
the rest. It was not long before the priest appeared. He had 
very few clothes on, and was almost indeed in a state of nudity. 
As he approached the tent the skins were lifted up, as much as 
was necessary to allow of his creeping under them on his hands 
and knees. His head was scarcely within side, when the edifice, 
massy as it has been described, began to shake, and the skins 
were no sooner let fall, than the sounds of numerous voices were 
heard within, and beneath them. Some yelling, some barking 
like dogs, some howling as wolves ; and in this horrible concert 
were mingled screams and sobs, as of despair, anguish and the 
sharpest pain. Articulate speech was also uttered, as if from hu- 
man lips, but in a tongue unknown to any of the audience. 

After some time, these confused and frightful noises, were suc- 
ceeded by a perfect silence. And now a voice not before heard, 
seemed to manifest the arrival of a new character in the tent. 
This was a low and feeble voice, resembling the cry of a young 
puppy. The sound was no sooner distinguished, than all the 
Indians clapped their hands for joy, exclaiming that this was the 
Chief Spirit, the Turtle, the spirit that never lied ! Other 
voices, which they had discriminated from time to time previous- 
ly, they had hissed, as recognizing them to belong to evil and 
lying spirits, which deceive mankind. New sounds came afresh 


from the tent. During the space of half an hour, a succession of 
sono-s were heard, in which a diversity of voices met the ear. 

From his first entrance, till these songs were finished, we heard 
nothing in <the proper voice of the priest, but he now addressed 
the multitude, declaring the presence of the Great Turtle, and 
the spirit's readiness to answer such questions as should be pro- 
posed. The questions were to come from the chief of the village 
who was silent however, till after he had put a large quantity of 
tobacco into the tent, introducing it at the aperture. This was a 
sacrifice offered to the spirit ; for spirits are supposed by the In- 
dians to be as fond of tobacco as themselves. The tobacco ac- 
cepted, he desired the priest to inquire, whether or not the Eng- 
lish were preparing to make war upon the Indians? and whether 
or not there were at fort Niagara, a large number of English 
troops 1 These questions having been put by the priest, the tent 
instantly shook ; and for some seconds after, it continued to rock 
so violently, that Mr. Henry expected to see it levelled with the 
ground. All this was a prelude, as he supposed, to answers to 
be given. But a terrific cry, announced with sufficient intelligi- 
bility, the departure of the Turtle. A quarter of an hour 
elapsed in silence, and Mr. Henry waited impatiently to discover 
what was to be the next incident in this scene of imposture. It 
consisted in the return of the spirit, whose voice was heard again, 
and who was now delivering a continued speech. But the lan- 
guage of the Great Turtle now, like that which had been heard 
before, was wholly unintelligible to every ear, that of the priest 
excepted. And it was not, therefore, till the latter gave an inter- 
pretation, that the audience learned the purport of this extraordi- 
nary communication ; which did not commence before the spirit 
had finished. 

They were then informed by the priest, that the spirit, during 
this short absence, had crossed lake Huron, and even proceeded 
as far as fort Niagara, which is at the head of lake Ontario, and 
thence to Montreal ; a distance, this, of more than a thousand 
miles out, making more than two thousand miles, going and re- 
turning, all in fifteen minutes. 

At fort Niagara, he had seen no great number of soldiers ; but 
on descending the Saint Lawrence, as Jow as Montreal, he'had 


found the river covered with boats, and the boats filled with sol- 
diers, in number like the leaves upon the trees. He had met them 
on the river, coming to make war upon the Indians. 

The chief had a third question to propose, and the spirit, with- 
out a fresh journey to fort Niagara, was able to give an instant 
and favorable answer. " If," said the chief, " the Indians visit 
Sir William Johnson, will they be received as friends." 

" Sir William Johnson," said the spirit, (and after the spirit the 
priest,) " Sir William Johnson, will fill their canoes with presents, 
with blankets, kettles, guns, gun-powder and shot, and large bar- 
rels of rum, such as the stoutest Indians will not be able to lift ; 
and every man will return in safety to his family. 

At this the transport and clapping of hands were universal. 
The questions of public interest having been resolved, individu- 
als Avere permitted to inquire into the condition of their absent 
friends, and the fate of such as were sick. Mr. Henry, among 
the rest, made an offering of tobacco, and inquired whether he 
should ever revisit his native country. His question being put, 
the tent shook as usual, after which he received answer, that he 
should take courage, and fear no danger, for that nothing would 
happen to hurt him, and that in the end he should reach his 
friends and country in safety. These assurances wrought so 
strongly upon his gratitude, that he presented an additional and 
extra offering of tobacco. 

These consultations of the priest and spirit, continued till near 
midnight, when all the crowd dispersed to their respective lodges. 
Mr. Henry tells us that he was on the watch through the scene, 
to detect the particular contrivances by which the fraud was car- 
ried on ; but although he appears to have been a very intelligent 
and penetrating man, and is certainly a \ery good writer, yet he 
says that he came away as he went. 

The shaking of the tent, when it is considered that it was con- 
structed of such massy materials, was not the least extraordinary 
part of the performance ; and it was one that it does not appear 
that any legerdemain was possible to produce. The number and 
variety of voices, form another mysterious feature. 

Capt. Carver witnessed in another tribe, a similar and equally 
unaccountable display, as did M. de Champlain, as long ago as 


1609, who supposes that the joueur or priest shook the tent him- 
self. But this seems impossible, unless he was a Sampson of a 
fellow. Besides, it does not account for the concert of discord- 
ant and simultaneous voices, when no one was seen to enter the 
tent except a single priest. 

We strongly suspect that there was more art and labor, in pre- 
paring this tent than travellers and the uninitiated were suffered to 
see ; and that there was a subterranean cell below, and a subter- 
ranean passage to it, in which other joueurs were concealed. 

§ 24. Mysteries, when once found out, are mysteries no 
longer ; and all surprise ceases, except at their simplicity. We 
are apt to imagine, that had we been present ourselves, that our 
senses would have been more acute, and that we might have detect- 
ed this Indian imposture, but do we not see performances equal- 
ly inexplicable, by mountebanks in all our principal cities 1 The 
Hon. Mr. B. an eminent attorney, and afterwards a Senator in the 
U. S. Congress, gave an account to a company, of which the 
present writer was one, of some of the legerdemain of Seignior 
Falconi, an Italian performer, which he witnessed, and which 
excited much surprise ; and although Mr. B. was a man of very 
superior talents, he was unable to unravel the mysteries which he 

Among other things Falconi told his audience to propose to 
him any question they pleased. One of them asked what was 
the difference between lightning and electricity 1 He instantly 
threw down a candle on to the table, and told the querist, or any 
one else, to cut it open and he would find an answer. The can- 
dle was cut open to the wick, which was found to be a piece of 
paper rolled up, and upon which was written, " the one is natural, 
and the other artificial." 

He gave another instance. The actor requested the gentlemen 
present to lend him their watches. They did so. These he put 
into a bag, or it so appeared. He then laid the bag on a table 
and told them, or any one of them, to take a whip and whip the 
bag as much and as long as they pleased. This was also done. 
He then poured forth the contents of broken crystals, broken 
dials, and broken wheels, and the whole machinery, in complete 


rupture and ruin. Something must be done, he then said, for 
these gentlemen who have delivered me their watches. We must 
do our best to make good their losses. The fragments were then 
returned into the bag. Some manceuveringthen took place, such 
as concentrating the fragments into one end of the bag, and rub- 
bing it with his hands. The contents were then carefully emptied 
out on to the table. The watches appeared as they were when he 
received them, and he handed them to their respective owners. 

A lady, Mrs. C. when a girl, was present at one of his exhibi- 
tions, and gave us the following account of one of his sleights. 
He requested any lady present to hand him her ring. One was 
handed him. He gave one of his auditors this ring, or so it ap- 
peared ; told him to charge the pistol with powder, and put the 
ring in place of a ball, and then fire it out of the window. All 
this was done. He then expressed great anxiety for the recovery 
of the ring ; and looking round he pointed out a young lady, of 
one of the first families, and said that the ring might be found in 
her slipper. She in much astonishment and perturbation, replied 
in a tremulous voice, Oh ! no — it is not in my slipper. Please 
Miss, said he, be so kind as to slip your slipper from your foot ; 
she did so, and behold there was the ring. 

We at first conjectured that the young lady was in concert with 
the actor ; but this was not the case. Still, some other lady who 
sat near her might have been, and who probably slipped the ring, 
unknown to its wearer, into her shoe. It must have been another 
ring that was put into the pistol.* 

In the case given respecting the watches, the juggler's bag must 
have been double, and the part of it into which the watches were 
put made of some material so firm as to bear the strokes of the 
whip without injury to the contents. The broken matters poured 
out must have been the fragments of other watches fitted for the 

The Hon. Mr. B. observed that nothing was ever detected of 
Falconi's tricks, except that he made use of very strong magnets, 
and that one of the watches was injured in that way. 

* It might have been a doable barrelled pistol, and the ring put into the bar- 
rel which was not fired off. 


We are not sufficiently adept in legerdemain to venture many 
surmises of our own. 

A certain German prince was so utterly confounded at the 
pranks of a performer, that he sent for him to his palace, and 
bargained with him for a large sum of money, to unfold to him 
his many mysteries. He found them when once explained, easy 
of comprehension, and entirely reconcileable with natural and 
known principles. 

§ 25. Gen. Hamilton, was in his day, once travelling in the 
interior of New York, and putting up at a village for the night, he 
was informed by his landlord that there was to be a sleight of 
hand exhibition that evening, by an itinerant. This the general 
for want of better entertainment, saw fit to attend. The actor 
had not commenced when he entered, and closely inspecting a 
countenance of superior intelligence, made bold to approach the 
general with a dollar in his hand, which he asked him to be so 
good as to hold during his performance. 

Gen. Hamilton took the money, and held it as desired, but not 
without some suspicion that it might have some connection with 
some part of the actor's legerdemain, or that some attempt might 
be made to abstract it from him without his knowledge. Nothing 
of the kind however happened, and after all was over, the show- 
man came to him and received back the deposit, thanking him for 
the trouble he had given him, telling him at the same time, that 
bis only motive was to divert his attention from too close an in- 
spection of what was transacting before him ; and intimating 
that although his performances might pass very well with the 
multitude, yet that he was not quite certain, that a man of his 
physiognomy, might not discover more than he wished to have 

A counterpart to this anecdote, occurs in relation to Sir Dugald 
Stewart. It may also throw some light upon the story of the 
ring being found in the young lady's shoe. Sir Dugald, who was 
'present at some legerdemain exhibition, had a shilling piece 
handed him which he was requested to keep ; he however handed 
it to his next neighbor. During the play, a similar piece was 
handed around to the audience, for their inspection. Afterwards 


it was loaded into a pistol and fired out at a window. The jug- 
gler then said that the piece might be found in that gentleman's 
side pocket, pointing to Sir Dugald. Perhaps, replied Mr. Stew- 
art, if it is not found on me, it may be found on my next neighbor, 
who forthwith exhibited the piece. 

It is thus that pranks so seemingly profound, vanish into thin 
air, as soon as they are once detected ; and justify the remark of 
Cato, that it is wonderful how one soothsayer could look another 
in the face without a burst of laughter. 

§ 26. The effects of imagination are immensely diversified, 
and sometimes so strong as to confound falsehood with truth, and 
disease with health. Things imagined to be true, are told for 
truths, when void of all foundation ; and yet such imaginative 
persons, do not know that they are uttering falsehoods. What 
they imagine, they cannot discriminate from what they see, and 
consequently they pass for persons of no veracity. Such persons 
are, however, commonly good natured. If society sometimes 
suffers from their tergiversations, they themselves are exempts. 
Very different is the condition of those who have fancied diseas- 
es. They are greater sufferers than those who have real ones. 
This is proved, as Dr. Rush observes, by the most painful mala- 
dies being borne, such as gout and stone, without their ever driving 
the sufferer to commit suicide ; whereas, this is committed, and 
not unfrequently, by those who labor under hypochondriac and 
other nervous diseases. 

Many years ago, Elisha Barns, of Bucks county, Pennsylva- 
nia, was in time of wheat harvest reaping wheat, with his son, a 
stripling, and his hired men. In the course of the day they killed 
a rattlesnake. The father and son had outside jackets of the 
same kind of cloth, which they had thrown off in the heat of the 
day. At night the father in attempting to put on his outside gar- 
ment, as he supposed, found it much too small. He looked and 
found the color right, and was much astonished at his increase of 
bulk. Immediately, he supposed that he had been imperceptibly 
bitten by the rattlesnake, and had swollen from the effect of the 
poison. He became very ill, and was about to send for a physi- 
cian, when his son came in with the old gentleman's coat, dang- 


ling like a bag about him, when poor Elisha Barns was well in 
an instant. 

We had a patient, Col. G. a man of superior natural abilities, 
who was a victim to all kinds of imaginary maladies. It was 
even dangerous for his physician to detail the symptoms of dis- 
eases, for his patient would surely have the whole of them. At 
one of our visits, he told us that his disorder was an ulcer on his 
kidneys, although he had no symptom indicating any such affec- 
tion. We told him that he had had no sickness at stomach, 
which was one of the symptoms of an affection of the kidneys. 
He soon, in consequence of this information, began to retch, as 
though he had taken tartar emetic. Nothing more of this kind 
ever occurred. At the next visit, we found the Colonel sitting 
with his feet in a chair, covered with flannel. What is the matter 
now, Colonel, was our inquiry. Doctor, said he, I have got the 
gout. How can that be, have you had any pain in your feet, your 
ancles, or great toe 1 No, he replied, but I do not doubt but that 
I shall have. Nothing more was heard of the gout after that day. 
But the very next conceit, would be as firmly rooted in his mind, 
as though his fancy had never erred. It was only by a course of 
steel, and other strengthening remedies, that his nerves gained 
their wonted vigor, and then his mind responded, and lost its 
troublesome vagaries. 

The Hon. G. H. Esq. then mayor of the city in which he lived, 
walked out into the street, one morning in the month of March, 
dressed as usual at that period, with small clothes reaching no 
further than the knee. He had on two pair of stockings, as was 
his custom. Feeling an unusual coldness in one of his legs, he 
cast down his eye, and lo, and alas, he beheld one leg smaller 
than the other ! He hastened into the house, told his wife that 
one of his legs was perishing, that it was cold and fallen away, 
desiring her to s,end for Dr. S. immediately. She however, sent 
for Capt. C, a friend and near neighbor, who came in directly. 
The story was repeated with much agitation. Friend H. said 
Capt. C. pull down your stockings, let us see both legs together, 
and then we can judge better. Mr. H. complied, when all the 
terror ceased at once, he had drawn three stockings on to one leg, 


and left the cold and shrunk limb with only one. No physician 
was needed for curing so plain a domestic case. 

A case of a young farmer, mentioned by Dr. Darwin, had a 
more tragic issue. He found his hedge fence nightly diminishing, 
and unable to detect the depredator, determined one night to 
watch the premises himself. In the dead of night, he perceived 
a poor old withered woman making up a bundle of faggots from 
his fence. He let her proceed till she had shouldered her load, 
when he rushed from his concealment, and deprived her of her 
booty, with bitter reproaches. In a moment of horror, she fell 
on her knees, not to pray to him, but to heaven, that he might 
never, so long as he lived, be warm again. Such a request, from 
such a miserable looking supplicant, in the dead of night, and ut- 
tered with much fervency, struck him to the quick. He felt cold, 
and returned home shivering. He increased his bed-clothes by 
night, and his body clothes by day, but fancied himself forever 
cold, and neither apparel, nor wine, nor medicine, ever made him 
warm. He even had a seive put over his face when he was in 
bed, and increased his fires. It was all in vain. He declared 
lhat never had he felt warm since the fatal orison of the old wo- 
man. His chills finally ended in the chill of death. He fell a 
sad victim to the chills of his imagination, and ended his days by 
the effects of an irrepressible hallucination. 

The same author mentions the case of a clergyman, of rather 
a weak mind, who was drinking with some lively companions, 
when with his wine he swallowed a part of a wafer. One of the 
company humorously remarked, that it would seal up his bowels. 
The clergyman felt the force of the remark, and his imagination 
did the rest. He became indisposed, and although the medicines 
given him, had the same operative effect as his attendants desired, 
still his fancy could never be relieved. He could not be made to 
realize, or believe, what his own eyes witnessed. His bowels 
were relieved, but his fancy was not. He pined and died, ever 
asserting that nothing had passed them since he swallowed the 

Had the Salem judges known a few such well authenticated 
facts, it seems hardly possible that the pages of New England 


history should ever have been darkened by such scenes as the Sa- 
lem witchcraft. 

As education becomes more diffused, and the sciences more 
profoundly understood, the mind of man acquires expansion. 
The palace, the play-house, the parlor, the hut and the hovel, 
feel the influence of Newton and Kepler, and Copernicus, though 
all their inmates may have never heard of even their names. 

Eclipses were once thought to have proceeded from miraculous 
or magical power. 

§ 27. % Sidereal, or planetary influence over men, diseases, 
and cattle, and trees, once held unbounded belief. This is not of 
Saxon origin, but is derived from the native Britons and Italians, 
The Druids of Gaul, and of Britain, held both the professions of 
physic and priestcraft conjoined. One of their rules was, to cut 
the misletoe with a golden knife, but only when 'the moon was six 
days old. It then underwent the formality of consecration, when 
it was considered as an antidote for poisons, and a preventive of 

The Vervain, (verbena officinalis,) after libations of honey y was 
to be gathered at the rising of the dog-star, but with the left hand 
only, and when neither the sun nor the moon shone. It then be- 
came the vanquisher of fevers, an antidote to the bite of serpents, 
and a chain to fasten friendship.* 

Sir Theodore Mayerne, the Doctor Caius, of Shakspeare, was 
physician to three English Sovereigns ; yet some of his remedies 
betray superstition in a most disgusting form. One was, the 
bowels of a mole, cut out whilst the creature was alive. Another 
was mummy, made of the lungs of a man who had been executed, 
or otherwise died a violent death. 

In this class of great vulgar, must be placed also Sir Kenelm 
Digby, Knight of Montpellier. He pretended to have a sympa- 
thetic powder, which came from Persia, or sometimes from 
America. This powder was to be applied to any tool with which 
a person was wounded, such as an axe, an adze, or chissel ; after 
this, the edge of it was to be covered over with ointment, and 

* See Pliny Lib. xvi. c. 44— and Lib. xxv. c. 9. Also Dr. Paris' Phar. v. 1. 
27, 28 pages. 


dressed two or three times a day. Had the knight suffered his 
treatment to rest alone in putting powders and ointments on axes 
and adzes, we might have supposed that he had some confidence 
in it himself; but he was careful not to do this, but to make suit- 
able applications to the wound itself; although he gave the credit 
of his cures, to the instrument having been under treatment, which 
caused the injury. Such wonderful effects have secrecy and 
mystery, that even crowned heads were turned about to view 
these extraordinary cures of Sir Kenelm Digby. He delivered 
a discourse upon them himself before an assembly of notables 
and nobles in France. King James I. at length prevailed on him 
to divulge his mighty mystery to him. It proved to be nothing 
more than burnt copperas, (Calcined Sulphate of Iron.)* It 
was found to be concealment that caused all the wonders of the 

Once known and all its virtues fled, 
Though it before had raised the dead. 

§ 28. We are not so much surprised when strange things are 
heard of at a great distance, and among a pagan people. But 
we like to trace the turnings and windings of human nature into 
all its recesses. 

When we find Asia respond to Europe, and Europe to Asia, we 
become more certified of the common origin of man. 

Every one knows that the ancient Greeks and Romans had 
gods for every thing. And at this time this appears to be the 
case in some parts of India. 

A communication from Mr. Dubois, a missionary to the Eng- 
lish National vaccine establishment, is a curious proof of this ; 
and at the same time, displays as curious a proof of national 
superstition. The matter in view, related to the introduction of 
the cow-pox, which they opposed upon the ground that one of 
their goddesses, called Mah-ry Umma, became incarnate in small- 
pox. She was a terrible deity, entering into the infected, and 
causing head ache, back ache, cold chills, and fever; and finally 
breaking forth upon the skin in little angry suppurating boils, 
called small-pox. But although she saw fit thus to afflict them, 

* Vide Paris' Pharmacology. 



they believed that she might render them still greater evils if they 
offended her. They therefore refused to substitute her rival in 
her room, for fear of her anger ! 

No reasoning could overcome their prejudices. They feared 
her goddesship for themselves, and for the whole nation. Their 
scruples were finally overcome, by raising up a new superstition 
in room of the old one. They were therefore told, that the god- 
dess had chosen of late, to exhibit herself in a more mild and 
placable form ; and that they might still adore her m her new 
shape, and praise her for her benevolence, because her substance 
was the same as it ever was. 

It was thus that the great blessing of vaccination was intro- 
duced into India. 

§ 29. The story of Dr. Faustus, and the devil, had its origin 
from John Faust, the first printer of books. He was a German, 
and kept his art a secret. The books being printed in imitation 
of manuscript, were at first supposed to have been written with a 
pen. At that time Bibles were charged at five hundred crowns, 
by the scribes of Paris, apiece. Thither Faust went and sold his 
for sixty crowns. The uniformity of his printed tvriiing, and the 
low price of the volume, excited the amazement of the Parisians. 
But when he reduced the price to thirty crowns, and besides fur- 
nished copies as fast as they were wanted, all Paris was in a stale 
of agitation. He was informed against at the police as a magi- 
cian. His apartments were searched and a great number of 
copies discovered. 

Part of the printing was done in red. This passed for his 
blood ; and blood and witchcraft having a supposed mystical con- 
nection, he was deemed by the award of the magistrates to be 
leagued with the devil. He was obliged to fly, or he might have 
shared the fate of other sorcerers, witches, and wizards of the 
times — that is, have been burnt. 

Such is a concise history of the first printed copies of the Bible 
in the world. 

The wonder subsided when the types were discovered. Al- 
though, those with which Faust first printed the Bible, were of 
wood, and not like those of later times, moveable. 


The interesting and sacred volume was multiplied, till every 
body possessed a Bible. After which, a new superstition arose. 
It was that of opening the book at hazard, and the person's for- 
tune, fate, or present object of inquiry, was supposed to depend, 
or to be indicated, by the first passage upon which he cast his eye. 
This was an early mode of appealing to the Bible. So far was this 
custom carried, and so mischievous were its effects, that ecclesi- 
astical history informs us that it was prohibited by law. 

The Bible was not, however, the only book that was thus con- 
sulted. Virgil was opened at random for the same purpose, of 
which the great Dr. Johnson gives us some account, in his Lives 
of the Poets. In his life of Cowley, who was secretary to Lord 
Jermyn, and the latter Ambassador from England to France, a 
treaty with the Scotch was negotiating, for the success of which 
Cowley was much interested. In a letter to a friend he gives his 
reasons for expecting a favorable issue to this treaty. And to add 
weight to his opinion, he writes to him as follows, by which it ap- 
pears that he had been consulting the Virgilian lots, that is, open- 
ing Virgil : " And to tell you the truth, (which I take to be an 
argument above all the rest,) Virgil has told the same thing to 
that purpose." 

This method of divination was used by King Charles I., and by 
Lord Falkland, both of whom happened together in the Bodleian 
library — or more probably went there for the express purpose of 
consulting Virgil. 

As a matter of coincident curiosity, when it is considered that 
Charles was beheaded by his subjects, and that Lord Falkland, 
his secretary, was killed, fighting for his king, we notice this royal 
piece of superstition, and its striking results. The passage upon 
which the royal eye of Charles fell, is as follows : 

" Yet let a race untam'd, and haughty foes, 
His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose, 
Oppressed with numbers in th' unequal field, 
His men disconrag'd and himself expell'd ; 
Let him for succour sue from place to place, 
Torn from his subjects and his son's embrace. 


First let him see his friends in battle slain, 
And their untimely fate lament in vain : 
And when at length, the cruel wars shall cease, 
On hard conditions may he buy his peace ; 
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command, 
But fall untimely by some hostile hand, 
And lie unburiedon the barren sand.* 

It is presumed that there is not in Virgil, or any other book, 
a passage more appropriate to the final fate of that monarch, than 
the one to which chance directed his eye. He did not lie unburi- 
ed, but he fled from place to place for succour. His armies were 
defeated, he was separated from his son, afterwards Charles II., 
and from his Queen, and finally beheaded by the sentence of 

Lord Falkland's eye met the following lines. , 

" O Pallas, thou hast fail'd thy plighted word, 
To fight with caution, not to tempt the sword ; 
I warn'dthee, but in vain, for well I knew 
What perils youthful ardor would pursue; 
That boiling blood would carry thee too far, 
Young as thou wert to dangers, raw to war. 
O curst essay of arms, disastrous doom, 
Prelude of bloody fields, and fights to come ! 
Hard elements of unauspicious war, 
Vain vows to heaven, and unavailing care ! t 

Lord Falkland was the most learned man of his age. He was 
killed at the early age of thirty-four, at the battle of Newbury. 
Charles survived his secretary eight years, being beheaded in 1649. 

Chance, in these two instances, paid tribute to superstition. 
But there is no record of the ten thousand instances of the failures 
which occurred in consulting Virgil. And it is by generals, and 
not by particulars, that wise men form their opinions. 

We cannot be censured for using the word chance, because we 
have the very highest authority for it in the parable of the good 

* ^Eniad Lib. IV, 615, Dryden's translation. 
t iEniad Lib. XI. 152, Dryden's translation. 


We have often been surprised at the downright contradictions 
of Christian writers of some parts of the Bible. And it occurs so 
frequently, either directly or indirectly, that we hardly read or 
hear a sermon without some degree of perturbation at witnessing 
it. We here particularly have in view, the flat denial of some, 
who say that there is no such thing as chance, when Jesus Christ 
says that there was. 




§ 1. The burial of the dead was a religious duty among the 
ancient Greeks. And indeed throughout the heathen world, the 
embalming, burial or burning, of deceased persons, was a matter 
of great importance. 

Nicias, an Athenian general, and a pious pagan, chose rather 
to lose the honors of victory, than not to reclaim the bodies of his 
soldiers slain. 

The ghost of an unburied person was not allowed to pass fhe 
river Styx. 


Six Athenian generals were put to death as criminals, for not 
interring the bodies of the soldiers slain in the battle of Argi- 
nusoe.* It was the opinion of the ancients, that the ghosts of 
drowned persons were doomed to wander about for a hundred 
years, before they found a resting place. And the cause assign- 
ed was, that the rites of sepulture had not been bestowed upon 
their bodies. This notion is alluded to in Shakspeare. 

Fuck. My fairy lord, this must be done in haste ; 

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast. 

And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger ; 

At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there, 

Troop home to church-yards ; damned spirits all, 

That in cross ways and floods have burial, 

Already to their wormy beds are gone, t 

This care for the bodies of the dead was founded on an opinion 
which is connected with, and affords a reason why, the Egyptians 
embalmed their deceased friends. They held the opinion, that 
the soul was dependant for its preservation upon that of the body. 
In one sense, therefore, they held to the soul's immortality ; but 
that it had no separate existence from the body. That it would 
be renewed, and raised, and resuscitated, when the body was, was 
their firm opinion. But that if the body was lost, or suffered de- 
cay, that the soul would be lost, or suffer decay along with it, they 
firmly believed. 

That some of the Jews held to a similar doctrine, would ap- 
pear to be true, when their notion respecting the luz is considered.^ 
The Greeks derived it from the Egyptians. And Job, after some 
variation in his ideas and expressions upon the subject, finally 
places future knowledge, consciousness, and existence, upon the 
resurrection of the body. 

The Grecian fable of Charon and his boat, ferrying the dead 
over the river Styx, was derived from the Egyptians. His fee was 
an obolus, about two cents, placed under the tongue of the deceas- 

* Vide Plutarch. Life of Nicias. 
t Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 2. 

+ The luz was the bone of immortality — c part that did uot die in the grave, 
nor before burial— the seed of resurrection. 


ed. Such as had not been honored with a funeral were not suf- 
fered to enter the boat for the space of one hundred years, 
during which time they were condemned to wander on the shore. 
Charon is represented as an old man, of robust form, piercin» 
eyes, long white beard, and hideous countenance. 

There are many notions probably common to all nations. 
Others appear to be derived from tradition, and some from the 
Bible, even where it is unknown. We should have been surprised 
yesterday, had any one informed us, that there was in the Bible, 
any hint of the custom of our Indians, burying with their dead 
the arms and ornaments of their deceased warriors, to be found 
in it. But to day we were convinced that we did not know all 
its contents, as we read the following verse : " And they shall not 
lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, Avhich 
are gone down to hell with their weapons of war ; and they have 
laid their swords under their heads ; but their iniquities shall be 
upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the 
land of the living." 

It seems that an uncircumcised race, and a barbarous custom, 
are here pointed at, not for imitation, but for derogation. Going 
down to hell with their weapons of war, and having swords laid 
under their heads, mean no more than our Indian customs present 
to view now. 

§ 2. As are the times, so are the treasons. As are the de- 
terminations, so are the pretended revelations. Any one bent 
upon violent measures, if he has visions, or hears voices, they are 
in aid of his purpose. Even when sanctity is made the cloak for 
enormities, its ardor increases in proportion to the violence in- 

When the execution of King Charles I. was under discussion 
in Parliament, Cromwell said, that should any one have volunta- 
rily proprosed to bring the King to punishment, that he should 
have regarded him as a traitor. But as affairs were then circum- 
stanced, that he should pray to God for a blessing on their coun- 
sels. He added, that when he himself was lately offering up 
petitions for his majesty's restoration, that he felt his tongue cleave 
to the roof of his mouth ; and that he considered that supernatu- 


ral movement, as an answer from heaven of its having rejected 
the King. 

We regard Cromwell as the high-priest of all hypocrites ; and 
as having infused into his followers, both male and female, some- 
thing of his own deceitful spirit.* 

A woman, at the same period, desired admission to the military 
council ; she having been illuminated by visions of a prophetical 
nature, which gave the joyful tidings that their proposed measures 
of violence and bloodshed were sanctioned from on high. 

When it is considered that any one, however unprincipled, 
may assert that he has had a vision, a voice, or a supernatural 
impression, such assertions ought ever to be viewed with suspi- 
cion, or scepticism. When we hear of any thing of the kind, we 
ought to call to mind the case of Lord Herbert, of Cherbury. 
This elegant and polished infidel had the daring idea, of having 
heaven on his side ; and that the powers above should make 
known to him their approbation of his deistical principles. He 
therefore supplicated a special manifestation to be afforded him. 
And if his lordship is to be believed, he had it. He had, as is 
asserted by himself, an answer from on high, which could not 
have been uttered by any human agent, and which was distinctly 
heard in the air, in confirmation of his opinions, and the query 

§ 3. The horrors of the imagination, are sometimes the pun- 
ishment of enormities which evade or defy all other modes. 

Pausanias, being at Byzantium, cast his eyes on a beautiful 
young lady, of a noble family, whose name was Cleonice. Her 
parents, aware of the power of the Spartan general, dared not to 
deny his request, of having the young virgin, their daughter, for 
a mistress. The only terms on her part, were, that the lights in 
the room should be extinguished. This being complied with, she 
was under the cruel necessity of entering his apartment after he 

* Cromwell is thus described by his confidential physician, George Bate :— 
" A perfect master of all the arts of simulation, and dissimulation ; who, turn- 
ing up the whites of his eyes, and seeking the Lord with pious gestures, will 
weep and pray, and cant most devoutly, till an opportunity offers of dealing 
his dupe a knoek-down blow under the short ribs." See Lacon, p. 43. 



had retired to rest. It happened that she, in approaching his bed, 
stumbled on a candlestick. The noise awakened Pausanias, 
who had fallen asleep, and who did not, at the instant, recollect 
the assignation. Apprehensive, like all other tyrants, of assasina- 
tion, his dagger lay by his side. He caught it and plunged it into 
her breast, and it reached her heart. Rest, quiet, and peace, de- 
parted from that moment. Every night, the image of the young 
woman haunted him ; and in a voice of menace, repeated this 
verse : 

Go to the fate which pride and lust prepare.* 

At Heraclea, was a temple where the shades of the dead were 
consulted. Thither he resorted, and there Cleonice, as it is said 
appeared, when Pausanias entreated her pardon. She told him 
that soon after his return to Sparta, he would be delivered of 
all his troubles. 

His death was supposed to have thus been enigmatically fore- 
told — which proved true ; for being accused of an attempt to be- 
tray his country to the Persians, he fled for refuge to the temple of 
Minerva. This edifice the people walled up, surrounding the 

Plutarch, in the Life of Cunon. 


whole building with stones, so that he could not get out ; and he 
was there starved to death. His own mother laid the first stone. 

But as to the necromancy, and the raising of Cleonice, it is 
probable that the priest or priestess substituted some other young 
woman in her place. 

Jemima Wilkins once attempted to raise the dead. The daugh- 
ter of one of her followers having died, she endeavored to palm 
upon the gazing multitude another young woman, having some 
resemblance to the deceased, and dressed like her. 

It would appear that the art of ancient divination, was reduced 
to certain rules, which even the priests themselves could only act 
in conformity to, but could not vary their predictions so as to fit 
all possible contingencies and catastrophes. 

When Nicias, and Alcibiades, two Athenian generals, were 
gent with a vast fleet against Sicily, it was foretold that they 
should take all the Syracusans. It so happened that a vessel of 
the enemy was captured by the Athenian fleet, having on board 
the register or roll of the Syracusans. It contained, of conse- 
quence, an immense number of the names of their enemies. 
This very much disconcerted the diviners. They feared that the 
prophecy that had been made, that they should take all the Syra- 
cusans, was now accomplished, by this capture of all their names. 
And such in the end proved to be the event. For instead of 
taking all the Syracusans, Nicias lost an army of forty thousand 
men, and his own life also. 

Thus the predictions of the diviners ended in the capture of 
the names of the citizens and soldiers, instead of their bodies ! 

Piety, principle, or superstition, sometimes led the pagans to 
act up to the principles of true religion. But such instances took 
place among the few of first rate talents, and highly endowed 
minds. And that they were rare may be inferred from their hav- 
ing been thought worthy of record. Nicias refused to suffer his 
army to plunder the temple of Jupiter Olympias, when it was in 
his power, because he deemed it to be a sacred place. And Julius 
Caesar, being shewn a sword of his, which had been taken from 
him, refused to take it, for the reason that it hung in a temple,, 
and had been dedicated to the gods. Sacrilege was considered a 
crime of no ordinary magnitude. 


Those traces of piety and principle, remind us of the opinion 
of Bishop Butler, in his Analogy between Religion, Natural and 

§ 4. This pious but philosophic writer, expresses an opinion 
that at first struck us with much surprise. It is, that Christianity 
is " Natural Religion." Our first impressions were, that such a 
view of Revelation, had a tendency to weaken its sanctity, and 
to diminish its sublimity ; and to place it too much on a level with 
the Koran, and other human systems ; for if the religion of the 
gospel is but a natural religion, the query naturally arises, why 
unassisted human nature might not have discovered it? We 
cannot admit, therefore, that this analogy can be extended any 
further than to the morality of religion, revealed and natural ; 
and on the whole, we rather incline to the view taken by Hooker, 
upon the subject — " that the reason why some of God's laws were 
given, is neither opened nor possible to be gathered by the wit of 
man." And to the same effect, Bishop Horsley maintains that 
there are certain points " upon which reason is dumb, and reve- 
lation is explicit." Vol. I. Ser. 1. 

We recognize the revealed doctrine of the agency of angels, 
in the instance of Socrates, who asserted that he was attended, 
aided and guided, by an invisible being, which kept him from the 
commission of evil, and led him in the paths of duty. It is cred- 
itable to human nature, and to natural religion, when we find a 
pagan character so entirely unexceptionable as was his, 

§ 5. Eclipses, especially of the moon, were a source of great 
disquiet, and even of terror, to the Athenians, in the time of So- 
crates, Alcibiades, and Nicias, who were cotemporaries. The 
Athenians, at this period, about four hundred years before our 
present era, disapproved of those philosophers, of whom Anaxa- 
goras was one, who imputed to natural causes any unusual phe- 
nomena in the heavens or earth. They thought the Divinity in- 
jured, and his power and providence profaned, by ascribing them 
to insensate, unintelligent causes, or to inevitable necessity. 4 * 
Protagoras, was obliged to fly his country for a system of this 

* Plutarch. 


kind ; and Anaxagoras was thrown into prison, and with much 
difficulty liberated by Pericles. Socrates, who was put to death, 
lost his life in the opinion of Plutarch, for his philosophy ; but his 
religion, as it appears, was one of his imputed crimes. Both 
were too elevated for the times in which he lived. The account 
given by himself is, that he was accused of the criminal curiosi- 
ty of prying into the heavens, and into the abysses of the earth. 
Natural philosophers were esteemed but a sorry set of beings, by 
the community of his times. It was owing to Plato, that this 
darkness and delusion was expelled from the world. He made it 
appear that the Divine power was heightened, instead of being 
degraded, by natural causes ; and that they operated in obedience 
to his will. 

Plutarch himself, had a correct idea of eclipses, referring those 
of the moon to the earth's shadow. As every almanac foretels 
them now, they have long lost their power of terrifying even the 
superstitious ; but spots on the sun, not having yet been subjected 
to mathematical calculation, have still a portentous appearance to 
many eyes. Such spots were particularly noticed in 1816, both 
here and in Europe. Here the summer was cold, and the harvest 
scanty, frost occurring in New England every month in the year. 
There, the season was irregular, and the spring succeeding was 
noticed for the sudden melting of the snows upon the mountains 
of Tyrol and Jura. Barometers were strangely irregular, and 
the variations of the needle equally surprising. But the early 
melting of the snows, was succeeded by the early appearance of 
verdure and nightingales. It was at this period that news from 
Italy for the first time since the world began, announced the ap- 
pearance of tides in the Adriatic ! These facts as they relate to 
Europe, were collected at Paris, in 1817 ; at which time northern 
lights blazed over that metropolis for a whole fortnight together, 
accompanied with peculiarities before unknown. After such a 
variety of portents, had wars, famines and pestilence been preva- 
lent, the banners of superstition might have flopped the skies. 
Happily, peace, plenty, and unusual prosperity succeeded. Su- 
perstition gained just nothing at all, but sunk in reputation. 

Of premonitions and predictions, if one happens to be justified 
by the event, it is noised the world over ; but of their failures, in 
ten thousand instances, we hear nothing. 


Dr. Johnson, the great moralist and lexicographer, in his life of 
Lord Roscommon, gives an instance of a prediction of his lord- 
ship, when a boy of ten years old, which is sufficiently singular. 
The lad was at Caen, in Normandy, his father at the same time 
was in Ireland. He was usually rather a sober lad, but one day he 
became very noisy and antic, playing, leaping, getting over ta- 
bles, boards, &c. &c. In the midst of this extravagant mirth, he 
suddenly stopped and cried out, My father is dead ! A fortnight 
after, news arrived of his father's death. This account was con- 
firmed by the governor of the boy, and by Lord Roscommon 
himself in more mature age. 

An honorable member of Congress, whose family I was attend- 
ing, received the news of the death of his brother, who lived at a 
distance in another state. He assured me that the news was fully 
expected, from his having heard some person in the night ride 
briskly up to his house and stop, when no one came in, and as it 
appeared, no person was there. He considered it as a warning, 
or prelude to his receiving the intelligence that he did. He was a 
gentleman of a nervous temperament, and subject to low spirits ; 
his talents were of the first order, but his imagination unbounded. 
He related to me that on one occasion, when going on to Con- 
gress, that a number of the St. Domingo sufferers were on board 
the same packet ; persons who had lost their houses, their friends 
by murder, and their property by fire, and were driven from their 
native soil by the negro insurrection there. Yet, he observed that 
they were cheerful and talkative ; whilst he was so depressed in 
spirits, at leaving his home, and parting with his friends and fam- 
ily, that he could not say a word. It is thus that those who are 
always imagining evil, (and strange indeed, would it be were it 
otherwise,) may find a single instance in the course of their lives, 
in which their imaginings prove true. But that these works of 
imagination are not fixed by any irrevocable decree, a proof is 
afforded by the next instance which we shall adduce. 

A young man, member of college, received an impression, or 
as he fancied, heard a voice, which told him he should die in three 
days. It was as he was passing the stairs of the college building. 
Towards the approaching end of the period, he fancied himselt 
so ill, that a physician was called, and made acquainted with the 


particulars. He bled and blistered him, which did no good. 
lie grew worse, and the medical gentleman thought that he 
should lose his patient. He changed his practice, and gave a 
full dose of opium. This had the desired effect, of putting him 
into a sound sleep, from which he did not awake till the three days 
had expired. Immediately upon his awaking he inquired the 
time of day. He found that the limited period had passed and 
that he was still alive. The hallucination vanished from that mo- 
ment, and no more was heard of his illness or dying. As ima- 
gination can kill as well as cure, little doubt was entertained that 
he would have died had not this mode of treatment been adopted. 
A Cambridge student coming into the room of one of his fel~ 
lows, observed a glass of wine standing on the table, which he 
immediately drank. Presently the owner coming in, and missing 
his liquor, observed that it was antimonial wine. The other be- 
gan to retch, and soon after to vomit. Such was the power of 
imagination, that it had all the powers of an emetic, for the wine 
was not antimonial nor medicated. 

§ 6. Second-sight, is the pretended faculty of seeing into fu- 
turity, and of discovering what is going on in distant places. It 
is claimed as an inherent gift by some of the Scotch Highlanders. 
Sir W alter Scott seems to have had some confidence in this magic 
art. But wise men have their follies, and brave men their fears. 

Dr. Beattie, an elegant writer on Moral Science, and a beauti- 
ful poet, himself a Scotchman, said that those who pretend to it, 
are of the lower class, ignorant and uninformed ; and that he did 
not know the instance of a sensible well informed man, having a 
case of the kind to relate. 

In balancing accounts between these two great writers, let it be 
considered, that if we admit the existence of such a faculty, that 
all the instances given relate to matters of minor importance. 

We have never heard of any great and important occurrence, 
relating to nations, their warfare, revolutions, or changes of dy- 
nasty, being predicted. 

Now as we esteem the gift of prophecy upon a level with the 
gift of miracles, and both as being derived from a high, and pure, 
and infinite source, we are not ready to accede to its existence, 


unless the object to which it points, in some measure corresponds 
with the source from whence it is derived. 

Inherent talents or tacts, are not to be put upon a level with 
miraculous gifts. We admit, however, that it may be sometimes 
difficult to distinguish them, for the reason that both may exceed 
the limits of most minds. A person who could tell what the 
square root of 106,929 was, sooner than a penman could write 
down the figures, as Zerah Colburn did, is one of this description. 
It is probable that the world itself never afforded a parallel in- 
stance. The square which he gave, viz. 327, multiplied by itself, 
proves the correctness of his answer. Yet he was but a youth, 
and his education but indifferent. His mathematical acumen, 
was the wonder of London, to which he was carried from Amer- 
ica. A British peer wrote a volume, in which he endeavored to 
unfold the rapid and mysterious movements which his mental 
powers underwent, in producing such stupendous results. 

There is nothing related of Nancy Hazard, Jane C. Rider, Mrs. 
Cass, or Miss M'Evoy, more astonishing, or more surprising, 
taking into view the rapidity of Zerah Colburn's results, common 
minds and means. 

§ 7. Almanac-makers, predict something of the weather with 
much wwcertainty, but which may prove strikingly correct ; but 
that this part of their art, cannot be reduced to any regular sys- 
tem, is evident from its rarity. One of the most singular instan- 
ces which has come to our knowledge was a mere blunder. An 
almanac-maker of the last century, by the name of Ames, an 
ancestor of the celebrated statesman of Massachusetts, Fisher 
Ames, had not quite fitted his almanac for the press, when busi- 
ness called him from home, and he left the work to be finished by 
his wife. The good woman found a blank sufficient for the word 
snow, opposite the 13th of June, which she filled with that chilly 
word. Before Mr. Ames' return, his almanacs for the coming 
year were in print, and some of them in circulation, and very 
much to his chagrin, when he observed the prediction of his wife. 
It so happened, however, that it did snow on the very day pre- 
dicted, which gave immense celebrity to his future astronomical 



Some sage reviewers, have lately asserted that there is nothing 
in this world but luck, good or bad. Others allow nothing to 
luck or chance, but refer every thing to a particular predestina- 
tion ; but this latter doctrine, which is held by many in the ab- 
stract, we never knew admitted by a single person in the detail. 
Wonderful recoveries from sickness, hair-breadth escapes from 
accidents, plentiful harvests, great riches, bright talents, and suc- 
cessful warfare, are referred to the special beneficence of provi- 
dence ; but when laborers are indolent, servants dishonest, agents 
treacherous, battles disastrous, and children thankless, and 
friends traitorous, they never have the benefit of such reference. 
All is then imputed to the incompetency, or turpitude of the 
actors. We are inclined for ourselves, to think that the practical 
decision is more correct than the theoretical one, and more con- 
sonant with the Bible. 

The human mind when directed to a definite and particular 
science, art or object, stands the greatest chance of success ; and 
in minor affairs, such as the management of animals, in garden- 
ing, the study of the instinct of bees, and even of reptiles, we 
often witness what excites our admiration. 

§ S. An Indian had tamed a black snake, which he kept 
about him during the summer months. In autumn he let the 
creature go whither it chose to crawl, but told it to come to him 


again upon a certain day, which he named, in the spring. A 
white man who was present, and saw what was done, and heard 
the Indian affirm that the serpent would return to him the very 
day he had appointed, had no faith in the truth of his prediction. 
The next spring, retaining the day in his memory, curiosity 
led him to the place, where he found the Indian in waiting, and 
after remaining with him about two hours, the serpent came 
crawling back, and put himself under the care of his old master. 

In this case, the Indian had probably observed that black 
snakes usually return to their old haunts at the same vernal 
season ; and as he had tamed, fed and kept this snake in a par- 
ticular place, experience taught him that it would return on a 
certain day. 

The ferreting out of rogues is achieved by officers who have 
studied into their vices and places of resort. High constable 
Hays, of New York, has been conspicuously successful in this 
branch of his official duties. In detecting and arresting Stevens, 
Holdgate, and other extensive forgers of bank checks, how he 
came by his knowledge was quite unaccountable ; and he refused 
to reveal the mystery, when cross examined by the prisoner's 
counsel. He probably disguised himself, found out their haunts, 
and pretended to be one of their number, or this might have been 
done by some one else in his employ. 

A celebrated attorney in Connecticut, was employed in behalf 
of a certain sailor, about to be tried for the murder of another 
sailor. The principal witness was a third sailor. The attorney 
found that his client must be convicted by the testimony of the 
latter, unless some method could be devised to do it away. The 
night before the trial was to come on, he dressed himself in a 
sailor's habit, and went to the tavern where this witness, with 
others of his fraternity were. Conversation ran upon the subject 
of the approaching trial, and speculations as to the event. The 
attorney pretended to be of a decided opinion that the accused 
would be acquitted. This was strongly contested by the principal 
witness, who said that he was guilty of the murder, and would be 
found so ; and the dispute finally ended in a bet between him and 
the attorney, and the money was staked, when the latter retired. 
Next day, when the sailor was produced before the court to 


testify, he was objected to as being interested in the event of the 
suit, and there was ample proof present, of the bet. He was of 
course rejected, and the prisoner acquitted. 

§ 9. It was said by Malbranch, that our senses were not given 
us to discover the essence of things, but to acquaint us with the 
means of preserving our existence. But there have been persons 
in the world, whose only errand in it seemed to be, to deal in 
essentials, to develope mysteries, and to feed the curious with 
curiosities, whilst others were destined to find the means of sus- 
taining the lives of these inquirers. 

It was a saying of Cato, that wise men learn more of fools, 
than fools learn of the wise ; a truth that we every day see veri- 
fied, for fools will follow no counsel nor example of the wise, 
whilst the latter, from the follies or eccentricities of fools, may 
sometimes be taught something of human nature which is amu- 
sing and important. 

It was the grand design of Mr. Locke, to point out what objects 
our understandings were not fitted to deal with ; and it is equally 
important to define what the human mind is capable of achieving, 
as well as what it is not — to know what the bounds of human na- 
ture are, and to ascertain the limits which it can reach, and 
which it cannot transcend. 

It has been laid down as a principle, that what a human mind 
contemplates, a human agent can perform. But we deem this 
view too limitless ; for the human mind can contemplate visiting 
the moon, and of rolling the wheels of time backwards to the 
antediluvian ages, and of living to the age of Methuselah, neither 
which any human agent can achieve. But if a man thinks of 
excavating a passage through the globe, and thus reaching his 
antipodes, there is no known physical impossibility of its being 

It has been truly said, that a man's mind is sometimes wont to 
tell him more than seven watchmen. 

The few truths best established, find opponents, and the most 
veritable narrative has its sceptic. Incredulity is the wit, genius 
and judgment of fools. And here perhaps, fools and some men 


of great wisdom, approach each other nearer than upon any other 
point whatever. 

Buonaparte was incredulous as to the truth of history, and 
more especially as to the history of the Saracens, and the won- 
■ ders achieved by Mahomet. 

The causes of the French revolution puzzled the greatest phi- 
losophers, although its scenery passed before their eyes. The 
secret springs, and murky movements of party, never can be 
known ; since no party, nor indeed no mortal man, from Adam 
to Talleyrand, could ever be made to confess the secrets of his 
own soul, in full. 

Let us inquire no further than America. The origin of her 
inhabitants, and all their movements, are far better known than 
those of any other nation in the known world, ancient or modern ; 
and yet the historic page refers her revolution to a tax of half a 
cent, (about one farthing,) upon the articles of tea and paper; 
neither of them articles of first rate necessity, nor the basis of our 
revolution, although so imputed to be. 

The secret springs of immense events are sometimes too fine 
for mortal vision to discern ; as the source of all rivers is the fine 
particles of moisture in the clouds. 

Let the clouds cease to obscure the sky, and the rain cease to 
fall from heaven to earth, and the rills, and brooks, and springs, 
would dry up, and the Mississippi cease to flow. 

That such immense consequences as a seven years war, and 
the independence of the United States, arose from such slight 
causes as a half cent tax upon non-essentials , will be a political 
and philosophical problem to posterity. 



§ 1. Enthusiasm and fanaticism are the allies of superstition. 
They are contagious principles of the mind — wild thoughts, re- 
duced to still wilder acts. 

Mahometanism owes its rapid spread, the Saracenic empire its 
speedy erection, to these stimulants of the mind. 

Imperial Rome was founded upon this basis. Julius Ca?sar 
laid the corner stone, and his name burnished the turret on the 
cupola of the temple. 

Men acting under these stimulants, are reduced to their element- 
ary principles, and rush forward as do gales, hurricanes, torrents, 
and earthquakes. 



Perverted religion is the first food of fanaticism, but politics 
have learned to tread in its steps,, and war to waste what both had 
erected. The face of the world owes its magnificent changes, as 
well as its blackened and bloody fields, to these mental impulses. 
The madman of Macedonia, left the name of Alexander so deep- 
ly imprinted on the globe, that it can never be effaced. He died 
at the age of thirty-three, but his imitators in devastation never 

The impress of imitation is as lasting as the pages of history. 
The lives of Julius Csesar, and Napoleon Buonaparte, will brino- 
to mind their great exemplar, Alexander the Great. 

The never ceasing visions of glory, make the most unbounded 
tyranny pass for liberty and law, and the most cruel tyrant for a 
minister of mercy and justice. 

Equality of misery is hailed as equality of rights, and the food 
of vanity as the bread of life. 

The prefects of France in Napoleon's reign, rendered to the 
emperor that homage alone due to heaven. The students of ser- 
vility may profit by studying the times of the victorious Corsican. 
A mayor of one of the cities of France, affirmed in his ecstacy of 
loyal adoration, that the Deity after making Napoleon, must have 
rested as he did after having created the universe. 

§ 2. In 1817, Alexander, the Czar of the Russias, issued an 
ukase, forbidding his subjects to pay himself divine honors, as they 
did, and as they had been accustomed to do to his predecessors. 
That emperor for his talents, his principles and his piety, merits 
the highest eulogy. Buonaparte lauded him for his polished 
manners, comparing him to a polite Parisian ; but posterity will 
award him the meed of qualities more golden and glorious. The 
greatest general of the modern world, with an army of eight 
hundred and fifty thousand men, invaded his dominions, but was 
compelled by his genius to quit them with disgrace. 

The burning of Moscow decided the fate of Napoleon. Alex- 
ander dared to draw the lion's tooth, although at an immense 
laceration of his own hand and arm. 

Of the immense army of the invader, something like five hundred 
thousand men were lost by balls, bayonets, sabres, cold, starvation, 



fatigue and drowning. Of the remnant, one hundred and fifty 
thousand were taken prisoners by the allies. These allies were 
composed of the confederated armies of Russia, Prussia, Aus- 
tria, Saxony, and the minor powers of Europe ; who, with a 
generosity unparalleled, restored to France, those prisoners of 
Napoleon's army. But now the spirit of martial enthusiasm was 
developed in all its hideous glory. These men returned to France 
not to become peaceable citizens, but to murmur aloud for more 
war ; and to sigh and to manifest all manner of insubordination, 
to be again under the command of the hero whe had led them 
into the horrors of a Russian winter — who had reduced them to 
feed on the carcases of horses, dead with starvation — who had led 
them where their valorous companions in arms had fallen dead, 
hundreds of thousands in number, around them. 

An instance cannot be adduced since the world began, of a 
more insatiable thirst for blood — a thirst which increased in a ten- 
fold degree by its apparent satiety. Continual war was their 
only wish, perpetual danger their only pleasure, and human blood 
their only feast. 

Buonaparte, at this period exiled to the island of Elba, had 
sufficient discernment to discover the enthusiastic attachment of 
the relics of his army, to his person and his fortunes. Hence 
was the path opened for his return to France, marshalling his old 


army, and increasing it by new levies. The result was the battle 
of Waterloo. It seemed, as Sir Walter Scott observes, that the 
youth of France were, at this period, made for nothing but to be 
slaughtered. Those who had withstood the pestilential climate 
of St. Domingo, the sands and suns of Egypt, the cold of Russia, 
the lances of the Cossacks, and the muskets and sabres and 
swords of allied Europe, were, by their own enthusiasm, doomed 
to die at Waterloo ; and to die for him, who in the language of 
Lord Bacon, would have set the world on fire to roast a mess of 
eggs for his own dinner. 

Some savages have worshipped the tempest, and sacrificed to 
the furious storm, to allay their devastations ; but the sacrifices of 
the French were to increase the fury of the roused lion, to speed 
the lightning, and to add to the thunder's roar, and to the volca- 
no's cloud-mounting blaze. 

Qenuine liberty can only exist where self-government and edu- 
cation are its companions. The name itself, without these ac- 
companiments, may dethrone and cutoff the head of a king, and 
prostrate a tyrant ; but a hundred more merciless tyrants in their 
room will assuredly rise up. 

Mr. Burke said that absolute democracy was no more a legiti- 
mate government than absolute monarchy. There can be nothing 
absolute where there is genuine liberty, except absolute self gov- 
ernment. In France, during their revolution, the people became 
despotic, as soon as they had made their aristocracy republican, 
and killed their king. Twenty thousand men, women and chil- 
dren, from the suburbs of Paris, armed themselves with pikes, 
and were ready to inflict death on all who had property, decency 
or religion — upon all who manifested natural affection, by la- 
menting the fate of their fathers beheaded, or their brothers and 
sons imprisoned. Useless have been the efforts of tyrants in all 
a^es, to make men think and act alike, by compulsion. 

William-Penn, who taught universal toleration, and who act- 
ed up to his own principles, did more towards producing uniform- 
ity than any other man. Next to him, was Roger Williams, of 
Rhode Island. The example and precepts of these men, and 
their coadjutors, has infused toleration into all sects and denomi- 
nations, religious and political. 


The English Constitution, which in times of democratic fury, 
verges towards monarchy, and in times of monarchical despotism, 
bends itself towards republicanism, comes nearest to perfection 
of any system except our own. 

Mr. Burke observes that the Magna Charta of King John was 
connected with another positive charter from Henry I. And he 
adds, that both the one and the other were nothing more than a 
rcaffirmance of the still more ancient standing law of the kimr- 
dom. They were in fact, nothing more than a confirmation of 
inherent natural rights, belonging to the people, which no govern- 
ment on earth had ever any right to take away. 

It was fortunate for our institutions, that men of such strong 
and superior minds, as those possessed by Roger Williams, and 
William Penn, came to this country with the spirit of liberty and 
toleration deeply pervading their breasts, and influencing their 
actions. They brought hither the genuine seeds of good old 
English liberty, perhaps originally of Saxon origin, but which had 
ceased to be cultivated in the mother country. 

It is said by Mr. Southey, that Roger Williams, the founder 
of Rhode Island, founded the first government, in the known 
world, upon the principles of universal toleration ; not even Ro- 
man Catholics being excluded from their religious privileges, or 
debarred of any political right — which was not the case at the first 
settlement of either Massachusetts or Connecticut. 

William Penn, the founder and proprietor of Pennsylvania, 
adopted universal toleration, not from imitation of Roger Williams, 
or any one else, but from his own liberal views and sentiments, as 
respected both religion and civil government. 

Every lover of genuine and rational liberty ought to hold the 
memory of these two worthies in very high estimation. Whoever 
visits Philadelphia, or Providence, will call to mind that he is in 
the city where the one and the other dwelt ; and cannot fail at 
being pleased with the excellent institutions of each, and with the 
liberal politeness, and friendship, and hospitality, of their present 

These early visitors of America, deposited the acorn in the 
ground, and their posterity are living under the shade of its um- 



brageous oak. An oak which has now extended its limbs, and 
shelters and shades no less then twenty-six independent states. 

It has been said that Caesar had friends, and that Pompey had 
friends, but no one was a friend of Rome. 

But these men were friends to their country, their whole coun- 
try, and every one of its inhabitants, by instituting universal 

Some politicians would govern states, as does a bad nurse her 
child — beat it till it cries, and then renew the blows, because it 
cries. William Penn, and his society of Friends, would govern 
mankind, by instilling into their minds the mild principles of reli- 
gion, morality, forbearance, and friendship. 

We owe much to men of his principles, on the score of dimin- 
ishing the number of capital punishments, the abolition of the 
slave trade, and the diminution of the use of ardent spirits. We 
learn that in Great Britain, crimes of the higher grades have 
rapidly diminished since the number of executions have been 

We repeat that we owe much to these men, whose names 
ought to be mentioned with those of Washington and Greene. 
The liberality, the political deference and urbanity, which we 
view in the conduct and intercourse of public men, and diplo- 
matic agents, and religious sects, and ministers of all denomina- 


tions, began with us in the New World, and is rapidly spreading 
over the European and Asiatic parts of the Old. 

And it is worthy of all consideration, that let our glorious 
Revolution be imitated where it will, that unless the moderation 
of these men travel with it, it will carry a curse rather than 
bring a blessing. We have had a most notorious, but most ap- 
palling proof of this, in the great French Revolution ; where the 
name of liberty plunged the assassin's dagger into the breast of 
youth, and innocence, and religion ; where eight thousand guilt- 
less persons were massacred in prison, in two days ; where execu- 
tioners and murderers, after wearying themselves with shedding 
blood, entered into the hall of judgment, and with their hands 
reeking and smoking with gore, took the seat of judges, in order 
to pronounce the sentence of death upon other untried, uncon- 
victed, and innocent persons; whilst the judges, who vacated 
their seats for these wretches, sallied forth to take their places, 
and to act the part of hangmen, and executioners, in their own 
identical persons ; where, in a short space of time, three hundred 
thousand persons were committed to prison, one third of whom 
were women.* 

The moral moderation, and self control, of a Williams and 
Penn, with their toleration, were there more conspicuously lack- 
ing, than the military talents of a Washington, the political abili- 
ties of a Jefferson, or the naval prowess of a Perry. 

France continued to flourish in military and political glory, 
even when. she denied her God, desecrated her bishops, beheaded 
her generals, and guilotined her citizens. 

But mark, and well mark, the end and conclusion of the 
tragedy. Her days of boasted liberty and equality, of republi- 
canism, and liberty of the press, ended, as Edmund Burke pre- 
dicted they would, in a monarchy, and military despotism, more 
intolerably burdensome, odious, and degrading, than any that she 
had ever before known. 

The Bastile, about which the Jacobins made such a noise that 
it was heard the world over, contained but nine prisoners at most, 
when it was destroyed. Whereas, under what they called the 

* See Sir Walter Scott's Life of Buonaparte, for this ; and many other par- 
ticulars of the French Revolution. 


republic, as we have seen, three hundred thousand persons were 
imprisoned, and this not including the eight thousand who were 
massacred in prison. 

To indulge the tongue in harmless conversation, was to endan- 
ger the cutting off of the head. Of the hundreds of thousands 
imprisoned, many were let out only to behold the light that lighted 
them to the guilotine. 

The notions of the French canaille, were like those of the Swiss 
emigrant woman, at New York, who cut open and began to plun- 
der from a bag of coffee, of which there was a pile lying on a 
wharf; and when arrested, said that she supposed that she had 
come to a land of liberty. The Republican Government of 
France, was as Sir Walter Scott observes, that of a mob, robbing 
and murdering those who had property. 

Virtue, education, moderation, and toleration, are the four cor- 
ner stones of a republic. 

A representative legislature, will ever be a miniature picture of 
the people. We behold in a legislator, the face of his constituents. 

In the four Presidents which Virginia has given our Union, we 
beheld in alto relievo, the towering, honorable, high-minded prin- 
ples of that noble state. 

But when we mention our own Revolutionary worthies, we 
ought not to omit a name which is not so often repeated as it 
ought to be. It is that of Robert Morris, of Pennsylvania, who 
by his own financial abilities, and private credit, supported the 
credit of the whole country. The sinews of war are men and 
money. And the latter, or rather its substitute, was afforded by 
paper, bearing the name of Mr. Morris. In reviewing our Revo- 
lutionary war, it would seem that its wheels must have been stop- 
ped, and that they could not possibly have rolled on to our final 
independence, without the aid of that one man. He must be 
considered as the Neckar of our emancipation. 

It was said by a certain satirist, that money could not be of 
much importance in the eye of Heaven, considering the unworthy 
hands into which it often falls. And this remark has been applied 
to victory. And well may it have been so applied, as it related 
to the victories of the f rench Revolution. As empires resumed 


their former bounds, kingdoms their former dynasties, men their 
former occupations, and the people their former servitude, when 
peace returned. 

After that immense struggle, of more than twenty years con- 
tinuance, after the millions of lives lost, and the hundreds of 
millions of money expended, the affairs of Europe returned into 
their old time-worn channels. 

But not so here. Such was not the case in the New World. 
Within less than half the duration of time of our war, with in- 
comparably less loss of blood and treasure, we achieved our inde- 
pendence, secured our liberty, abolished monarchy, and now 
have doubled the number of our states. 

Our Revolution furnishes a striking contrast, when compared 
with those of the Old World. Even Cromwell's rebellion, as the 
English call it, ended in the restoration of legitimacy. 




§ I. One half the day we are in darkness even when the sun 
shines, and when we are in the light of it. This is owing to the 
sight of the eye being covered in winking. And when we include 
the time which we sleep, it is clear that more than half our days 
are spent in darkness. 

It was from the affinity between sleep and death, that Mr. 
Boyle concluded that this life was not made for happiness. 
When asleep, we cannot be said to be either happy or miserable, 
it being a state of nihility as to enjoyment or suffering. 

In winking, the eye is so quickly uncovered that we do not miss 
the light. 

Whether light is material or not, has been made a question. 
Sir Walter Raleigh, concluded that it certainly was material, 
because it sometimes gives pain. A bright sun, gazed at, will 
give pain to a well eye, and is absolutely intolerable to an eye 
inflamed. But if light is matter, it is matter of too subtil a nature 
to be weighed. The rays of the sun, concentrated by a burning 
glass, and made to fall into the most delicate scale of a balance, 
will not affect the equilibrium. 

Although we cannot be said to enjoy happiness when we sleep, 
yet it fits us to enjoy life the better when we wake. Thus the bard : 

" Sleep, that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care, 
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, 
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, 
Chief nourisher in life's feast." 


The action of the mind is thought ; our sleeping thoughts are 
dreams. It cannot be proved that we always think in sleep, be- 
cause we do not always dream, and some persons never dream. 
The voluntary actions of life are ended in sleep ; but the involun- 
tary motions of life, which are breathing, the beating of the heart, 
and the circulation of the blood, continue in the same vigor as 
when we are awake. 

§ 2. Persons sometimes distinctly remember their dreams. 
At other times, like Nebuchadnezzar, they only are able to recol- 
lect that they have dreamed, but cannot bring to mind the purport. 
Sometimes an occurrence which takes place in the day time, first 
brings a dream to recollection ; as when a basket of red apples is 
seen, and the dreamer then for the first time remembers that he 
dreamed that he saw a tree loaded with such kind of fruit the 
night before. 

Some superstitious persons believe that dreaming of fruit or 
flowers in winter, is an omen of bad luck, which if it occurs, re- 
calls their dream in all its vividness. 

Dreams are sometimes impressed upon the memory upon first 
awaking, but upon getting up, or even upon turning over, they 
vanish. This is owing to an alteration in the position of the head. 
The head contains the brain, and the brain contains the mind. 
Those, therefore, who wish to retain their sleeping thoughts, must 
impress them upon their waking thoughts, before they change 
the position of the head. This will be the easier believed, when 
we recollect that so many important points in the animal economy, 
depend upon a fine transparent fluid, called the nervous juice ; 
and that the brain itself, is a soft substance, with an immense 
number of convolutions, or little eminences and depressions, 
which are secured by a membrane which is softer and thinner, 
and more tender, than the finest and thinnest fabric of silk that 
was ever woven. This is called the pia mater, and covers every 
little inequality, cavity, and ventricle of the brain, and even fol- 
lows its continuation into the spine, and covers the spinal cord. 

The words of the Wise Man, respecting dreams, are these : 
For a dream cometh of the multitude of Business ; and a fool is 
known by the multitude of words. 


Thus dreams, and fools, are mentioned in the same connection 
by Solomon. 

§ 3. Nature sports with man in his waking hours. She dis- 
plays the fog-bank, and the ice-island, to the eye of the mariner, 
which he sometimes mistakes for land r although it may be fifteen 
hundred miles distant. And we have just read of the loss of a 
vessel, by what the sailors call the looming up of the land. 

If nature sports with the senses so seriously, when man is 
awake, she may continue her sports into his sleeping hours. We 
have no control over our dreams, nor always of our senses ; for 
when we open our eyes, in the broad light of day, we must see 
such objects as are presented to our sight, and these are often such 
as we would not choose. 

There is an opinion in the world, that dreams should be inter- 
preted by the rule of contrary, and that to dream of a funeral 
betokens a wedding, and vice versa. And we once had a dream, 
which we are sure ought to follow this rule. It was, that a certain 
maiden lady, who was the very pattern of virtue and reservedness, 
was of an opposite character, and that she assumed her modesty 
and chastity of demeanor, only for the purpose of licentiousness. 
No dream ever did a person more flagrant injustice. And in this 
instance, we can boldly contradict what we have heard asserted, 
viz. that we never dream of any thing of which we have not 
thought when awake ; for we are certain that such a thought never 
entered our heart, nor never ought to have done. 

The present writer has sometimes dreamed of composing poeti- 
cal stanzas, but never could call to mind a single couplet. ,One 
line, however, was once distinctly recollected ; but it savors so 
little of poetry, that no one will suspect that it sprang from the 
inspiration of the muses. It was as follows : 
The bustle of love's controversial glee. 

The dreamer of the following lines, retained the whole stanza, 

and we will give it a place. 

" The world a thousand ways complains, 
A thousand ways expresses pains, 
But for her mirth she has but three, 
And very small ones, ha, he, he."" 

* Originally from King's Poems. 


§ 4. It is surprising to find, as we sometimes do, a great 
amount of wisdom, combined with a share of downright folly. 

The great light of antiquity, the divine Hippocrates, whose 
works on the healing art, have stood nearly two thousand years 
the test of utility, and the sanction of experience, left a prescrip- 
tion for dreams, by which it would seem that he considered them 
a disease of sleep. It is possible, however, that there may be 
something mystical connected with the matter, when its strange- 
ness is considered. 

" If you dream," saith the sage, " that you see the stars grow 
pale, as soon as you awake you must run round and round ; if it 
is the moon that loses its brightness in your dream, you must run 
straight forward ; and if the sun, then you must run backward 
and forward."* 

We may also notice the wise Marcus Aurelius, as a believer 
in the verity of dreams. He thanked the gods for the remedies 
communicated to him in this way, for his giddiness and spitting 
of blood. 

We also have an account of St. Jerome's having dreamed of 
his having received a severe flogging from an Angel, for the 
offence, of which he was guilty, which was that of writing in the 
style of Cicero ! which a certain commentator thought " a mar- 
vellous piece of injustice in the Angel." 

It is noticeable that Hippocrates defines the dream, as well as 
the remedy. We are not aware that he extended his prescriptions 
to dreams of any other description, than to those of the sun, and 
moon, and stars. 

§ 5. Dreams prove false even when seemingly substantiated 
by waking facts. Of this, a remarkable instance occurred in 
Vermont. A man had unaccountably disappeared from one of 
the towns iti that state, and no intelligence, nor trace of him was 
received, although a very considerable time had elapsed. The 
affair, of course, elicited many surmises and much conversation 
in the neighborhood of his former residence. A man living in 

*See Analectic Review, No. 30, for June, 1815. We have not noticed this 
subject in any of Hippocrates' writings, ourselves. 



the vicinity, dreamed one night, that the missing man appeared to 
him, and told him that he had been murdered, and referred him to 
a tree bearing certain marks, near which he had been buried, and 
where his bones might be found. He also told the said dreamer, 
by whom his life had been taken, and that his murderers were 
two brothers, by the name of Bourn. 

The man was so much impressed by his dream, that he «-ot 
up, and sat a while reflecting upon it; then went again to bed, 
and twice more had the same dream. Here then was all the evi- 
dence that a dreamer could wish. He then left his bed with a 
determination to search the spot, and aroused some of his neigh- 
bors to accompany him. 

To the surprise of all, the marked tree was found, and near it 
the appearance of a grave, in which were found bones. 

The Bourns, who were connected with the absent man by mar- 
riage, and in whose company he had last been seen, in Vermont, 
were arrested, and after examination, committed to prison. They 
were tried for their lives, and one of them sentenced to be hung. 
This one, Jessy Bourn, confessing himself guilty of the murder ! 
This fact seems truly astonishing, when there had been no mur- 
der committed, and when the missinff man was still living. 
Stranger things happen in reality, than any writer of fiction ever 
dared to invent. Here then was a man who confessed himscM 


guilty of murder, knowing at the same time that the gallows was 
his fate, and still he was innocent, and the man whom he con- 
fessed he had murdered, alive. 

We often hear of persons leaving the world, falsely asserting 
their innocence ; but here was one, apparently about to leave it, 
falsely confessing his guilt. An advertisement having been in- 
serted in the newspapers, for the purpose of discovering where 
the lost man had wandered, it produced the desired effect. He 
was found in New Jersey, where in a state of insanity he had 
strayed away. And judges, jurors, witnesses, jailers, and dream- 
ers, were surprised, and the supposed criminals and the commu- 
nity gratified, by his living appearance, at Manchester, where 
stood the jail, and where was to have stood the gallows. 

It seems that the two brothers finding the popular current set- 
ting strongly against them, and circumstantial evidence corrobo- 
rating the dreamer's story, agreed between themselves, that the 
only method to prevent their both being hung, was for one of 
them to confess himself guilty, and thus exculpate the other. As 
they were both poor men, with families, this prudential proceed- 
ing would save the life of one, and was the cause of the other's 
owning the murder. An attitude of human nature, in which the 
care of men for their families, beyond the grave, is strongly por- 
trayed ; as the survivor was to take care of both their families. 

On the appearance of the supposed defunct, a day of rejoicing 
was ordained. To the beating of drums, and firing of cannon, a 
sermon succeeded in the good New England style of thanksgiv- 
ing. Upon a re-examination of the supposed grave, it was sup- 
posed to have been an old disused potatoe hole, into which some 
animal had found its way, and found its death, and left its bones. 

It would surely have been better for the dreamer to have held 
his tongue about his dream, than by telling of it to have caused 
such immense trouble and misery. Still, considering its threefold 
repetition, and the mysterious absence of the man, we presume 
that there are but few but what would have done as he did. 

Enough has now been told about dreams to prove that they can- 
not always be related with impunity. And we recollect another 
instance which occurred in the place where we once resided to 
,the same effect. 


§ 6. A man of respectable family, and highly respectable con- 
nections, had become very poor. A wealthy merchant's store 
near by was robbed, and a person dreamed that this man was 
the robber. His poverty was the only circumstance against him, 
and this, we never can forget, when we heard of it, made a strong 
and painful impression upon our own mind at the time. Not that 
we believed him guilty, but that by the dream, added to his pover- 
ty, that his feelings, his character, his relations, and his family, 
would be injured. Happily the thief was brought to light, in the 
person of a black fellow. We incline to think that an action of 
slander might be sustained against a person for publishing such a 
dream to the world. Certainly it might, if the theory be correct, 
that the laws of the land will punish any one, who by woids, 
actions, writing, or painting, does an injury to the character of 

Many, and ourselves among the rest, had we been called on, 
must have testified that the character of Esquire R. suffered by the 
publication of this dream. 

Dreamers who spread abroad odious and defamatory dreams, 
ought to reflect that themselves may be dreamed about ; or that 
waking dreams may be trumped up to fit their case. 

§ 7. A pleasant story, of our native town, is told of the latter, 
as having occurred in times past. Town meeting after town 
meeting was there held upon some matter, not of very great con- 
sequence, but upon which no decision could be had. Parties run 
high, and discord was the order of the day. The principal cause 
of all this turmoil was finally thought to be owing to a certain pet- 
tifogger, whose intrigues, and contradictory speeches, seemed 
fitted to entangle every subject, and to disunite every movement, 
tending to concord. His name was Dorr. A new town meeting 
was called, and every voter present was expected to sustain his 
party. But when the vote was called, one man was sound asleep, 
and every effort to rouse him was vain. After a while, however, 
he spontaneously awoke, and declared that he had had a re- 
markable dream and vision. That he had, in fact, been so near 
to the infernal regions, as that he heard and saw what was going 
on there ; and that news was brought to the prince of darkness, 


whilst he was there, by one of his scouts, that a town meeting was 
about being held in the town of L. Ah, said the Devil, saddle 
my horse immediately, if that is the case I must be there. Whilst 
he was preparing for his journey, his imp happened to mention 
that he saw lawyer Dorr at the place ; upon which intelligence, 
his Satanic majesty countermanded his horse, and gave up his 
intended journey, observing, that if lawyer D. was there, it would 
do just as well as though he was there himself. We heard no- 
thing more of these vexatious town meetings after this. The joke 
put down the lawyer, and reconciled the people. 

§ 8. Connected with sleep and dreams, is somnambulism, or 
sleep walking ; of the forms of which, when produced by disease, 
we have already spoken. But it has its connections with health, 
as well as with sickness. And in this respect, it resembles that 
kind of insanity which George the third had, and which many 
others have, in which the bodily health is not impaired, the mind 
alone evincing disease. Although this is its apparent state, we 
are not prepared to say that it is its actual state. And notwith- 
standing what the physicians of the King said, in one of their 
bulletins, respecting his health being good, when he was in reality 
a maniac, we incline to think that this maniacal state alone proves 
bodily disease. It is indeed true that the strength remains, and 
is often surprisingly increased. And so it is in convulsions,, 
which none deny to be a severe bodily disease. There are some 
instances r of morbid strength in both, which, were they told, 
would be sufficient to stagger credibility. And such is the case 
with some persons in health. Charlemagne could straiten three 
horse-shoes at once, with his hands alone; a thing as far surpass- 
ing the strength of common men, as craziness is different from 
common reason. 

Connected with sleep and dreams, are sleep watching, sleep 
walkino- and sleep working. " A great perturbation in nature ! 
to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of 

§ 9. Professor Upham, in his Philosophy, relates a case of 
manual labor performed by a man in his sleep, which is equally 


curious with that of Jane C. Rider's skimming her milk, setting 
her table, and cutting the bread, as before related. This man, 
an inhabitant of Massachusetts, arose from his bed, went to his 
barn, ascended to the scaffold, over the great beams, by means of 
a ladder, threw down and threshed five floorings of rye, in suc- 
cession, in one night. When one flooring was finished, he raked 
off the straw, carried it up the ladder, and deposited it on rails, 
laid across the beams of his barn, and pushed up the threshed 
grain to one side of the floor, just as skilful and systematic labor- 
ers do in the day time. After all this, he threw down the bundles 
for a sixth flooring, but in passing a hay mow, where the hay had 
been cut down, he fell about six feet on to other hay below. The 
fall awoke him. It was winter, but he found himself in a profuse 
perspiration, so that his clothes were soaked through with sweat. 
He did not know at first where he was, but thought himself in the 
barn of one of his neighbors. By groping a long time in the 
dark, he at last found that it was his own barn that he was in, 
and that the doors were open. These he shut, and went to his 
house. Next morning he found all things in order, and upon 
measuring his night's work, it appeared that the five floorings of 
rye had yielded five bushels — a good half day's work for a first 
rate thresher. 

But the most surprising part of the case is, that his sleep walk- 
ing sense enabled him to ascend a high ladder, fifteen or twenty 
times, which he must have done, to have thrown down the six 
floorings, and to have carried back the straw of five of them, and 
yet that in his waking state, that he had to grope about a long 
time before he could find his way out of the barn, even when the 
doors were open, and his eyes open. We must again refer this 
most curious phenomenon, to the sixth sense, the bat-sense, to 
touch without contact, or to a double soul. 

§ 10. It is commonly supposed that sleep walkers do not see, 
although their eyes are open ; but that they do discern, cannot be 
denied. What this man did, as well as what others have done, is 
sufficient proof of this. 

A lad who lived in the family of the present writer's father, was 
a somnambulist. He arose in his sleep, upon a certain night, and 


came into the kitchen, where some of the family were still sitting 
by the kitchen fire. There was a large wooden mortar standing 
in one of the corners of the fire place, mouth upwards ; this he 
turned bottom upwards, and sat down upon it. If he had not 
discerned that it stood mouth upwards, he would not have changed 
its position ; but that he had not his waking senses, or waking 
reason, was very evident ; as he was all this time in his night 
dress, consisting of a single garment, and as soon as he was 
awakened, he ran out of the room with the utmost precipitation. 

It has been said, that in dreaming and sleep walking, the per- 
son is in a partial sleep. We think, on the contrary, that in the 
latter, that the sleep must be most profound, or else that the noise 
of the flail, in the case of the man who threshed the rye, would 
most certainly have awoke him. 

There is a waking and a sleeping mind, with senses and sensa- 
tions peculiar to each; as in crazy people, who reason strongly, 
but all their inferences and deductions, are from false, perverted 
and imaginary premises. 

§11. Sleep walking is, therefore, the insanity of sleep ; and 
very seldom does it lead a person to useful and regular labor ; but 
on the contrary, the most unimaginable, and dangerous actions 
and eccentricities, usually are its results. We never recollect, in 
all our maniacal patients, and we have had many, nor in our va- 
rious authors, any single one which can compare with the sleep 
mad act of a young man, whose case we shall next relate. It 
occurred many years ago, in the then District, now State of 

He got up, and taking a rope in his hand, went to a barn, and 
with one end of it tied up a bundle of hay. This he carried 
some distance to the edge of a wood, where he ascended a tall 
tree, dragging up his bundle. When he came to where branches 
shot out, he deposited his hay in the bifurcation, or forking of the 
tree, and then ascended still higher up, where he tied the rope 
around one of the limbs, still leaving a part of it unemployed. 
This part or end of the rope, he next tied around one of his an- 
cles, and then precipitated himself head foremost downwards on 
to the bundle of hay ! The concussion awoke him, and he found 




himself standing on his head, with his feet upwards, and one 
ancle tied so high above, that he could not possibly turn about, 
and climb to the place, and disengage himself. In this uncom- 
fortable posture, he was, therefore, compelled to remain the re- 
mainder of the night. In the morning he was missed, the neigh- 
bors aroused, and a search being commenced, he was at last dis- 
covered in his ludicrous but distressed situation. And so tall was 
the body, or stem of the tree, before it shot out any limbs, that the 
most dextrous climber present, could not possibly reach the som- 
nambulist. Ladders were at length procured, and he was in the 
end safely extricated. 

Sleep walking usually differs from dreaming, in this, that the 
sleep walker does not remember any thing about his wanderings, 
his movements, or motives. This was true respecting the Spring- 
field somnambulist, Miss Rider, and with Mrs. Cass. Had this 
young man, who was a schoolmaster, recollected his extraordina- 
ry conduct in sleep, it would be a highly interesting part of his 
case, to learn what thoughts and aims possessed his mind at the 
time. But of these we can know nothing. It is very apparent 
that his bodily dexterity, his strength and agility, were increased 
in his sleep, by his being able to ascend a tree of such a height, 
that persons awake could not climb. In this respect, his muscu- 


lar powers, like the senses of the sleep-walking ladies,* and like 
the muscular powers of many maniacs, partook of a morbid en- 
ergy. That he had a plan of operations, possessing his sleeping 
mind, when he tied up the bundle of hay, with one end of the 
rope, and left the other part disengaged, so that he could the easier 
drag it up the tree, and when there could tie it round a limb, and 
then round his ancle, must, we think, be admitted. Those who 
do up bundles of hay for any common purpose, do not tie them 
up with one end of a rope, but they first double the rope, and lay 
the hay upon the middle of it, and then draw both ends through 
the doubling, thus forming two running nooses. 

We cannot believe that he had self destruction in view, for Ave 
know of no instance in which suicide has been voluntarily com- 
mitted by a somnambulist, although we have instances of their 
endangering their lives by leaping from chamber windows. But 
this has been done from fear of imaginary murderers, or some 
other fancied injury. 

But it is perhaps useless to speculate upon a manoeuvre so 
strange, for th^t which is not done by the dictates of reason, rea- 
son can do little in discovering. If he had method in his sleep 
madness, his method was mad. It was unlike Rachel Baker's, 
whose sleep sermons were methodical, systematic and excellent; 
yet all dependant upon her sleeping mind, her waking mind 
having no such talent, nor her waking memory any reminiscence 
of them. 

§ 12. Sleep-talkers appear to remember some things in their 
sleep, and to forget other things intimately connected with them. 
A man would answer his wife's questions correctly in his sleep, 
but at the same time would forget his waking reservations ; in 
consequence of which, she was able to draw from him secrets, 
valuable to a woman, of which he would not tell her a word when 
awake, when it is probable that he had no recollection of having 
revealed them in his sleep.! 

* See Chap. IV. 

t Another instance of a similar kind, in which a boy confessed a theft in his 
sleep, was told me by the Hon. M. Storrs. 


Had not Rachel Baker's sermons been written down by some 
of her hearers, the world would have been deprived of a great 
curiosity, as she had not the least remembrance of them, nor no 
gift of preaching when awake. 

§ 13. A more recent case of somnambulism, or sleep mad- 
ness, which occurred at Portland, in the State of Maine, is wor- 
thy of notice, as it appears to differ from those which we have 
hitherto related, in this respect, that the boy recollected the causes 
which led him to his perilous acts. Mr. Adams of that city, was 
awakened in the night, by a noise which resembled scuffling, at- 
tended with groans, which appeared to proceed from a room in 
the third story, where his son, a lad of thirteen years, slept. His 
first impressions were, that his house was attacked by robbers, 
and that murder was attempted. Hurrying to the bed chamber 
of the boy, he found the bed empty, and the window and sash 
broken in pieces ; but looking out at it, he saw his son standing 
up on the ground below, and when spoken to, he answered in his 
usual voice, as if nothing had happened. Mr. Adams now has- 
tened down stairs, and discovered him approaching the door to 
enter the house. The first thing which he said upon seeing his 
father was, that his arms were both broken ; and they were both 
bleeding. He was taken into the house forthwith, a physician 
sent for and his arms examined ; and what is quite surprising is, 
that he had not a broken bone. The bleeding wounds on his 
arms, were owing to the flesh being torn, the cutis and muscles 
lacerated, but the bones were not injured ; and not the least mar- 
vellous part of the disaster was, that he fell upon a picket gate, 
as we are told, and that it was broken in pieces. It is evident, 
however, that if he had fallen directly on the pickets, from the 
window of the third story, that he must have been killed. The 
probability seems to be, that he struck the gate, not vertically, but 
rather partly in a horizontal direction, as he jumped from the 
Avindow, and thus demolished it. But in any point of view, that 
his body and lower limbs escaped harm, is sufficiently worthy ot 
notice. The account which he gave was, that he thought that 
somebody came into his chamber to kill him. He was frighten- 
ed, and remembered jumping out of bed, and attempting to defend 


himself with a chair, but his assailant pressing upon him, he next 
tried to escape by the window, and run his arm or arms through 
the glass, but finding the opening insufficient, he beat the glass, 
sash and all, hi pieces with the chair, when he jumped down into 
the yard below. The laceration and bleeding of his arms, was 
imputed to his thrusting them through the glass, and this was the 
only injury of which he made any complaint. 

§ 14. We have lying before us, some curious accounts from a 
London physician, G. G. Sigmond, M. D. upon the subject of 
sleep.* They are recent and novel. One case is that of a man 
who lived to the age of seventy-three years, and yet who never 
knew what sound sleep was, even for half an hour, during his 
long life. He was once known to doze for about fifteen minutes, 
which was every thing that he was known to have had resembling 
sleep, and even this was not sound. 

On the other hand, the case of Samuel- Chilton, is equally sin- 
gular. He was a laborer of about twenty-five, and slept for the 
space of seventeen weeks ! In the last seven weeks he had one 
evacuation which was alvine, and one which was urinary. In 
the first ten weeks it is conjectured that he ate, but no one saw 
him. He was bled, blistered, cupped, scarified, and had every 
irritating application externally applied, without the slightest 

In a case which occurred to the present writer, in which a 
needle had been tried by pricking the man's leg with it, without 
the least motion or flinching, and various other exciting agents 
used, we had guns fired under his window in the night, and pistols 
into the fire place of his room, with the effect of arousing him, 
and finally bringing him out of his somnolency, and apoplexy of 
fever and ague.f 

Sir Isaac Newton, in a letter to the celebrated Mr. Locke, 
writes that he had not himself slept an hour a night for a fortnight, 
and for five days together, not a wink. 

* See Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, "Vol. XV. No. 25. 
t This was a case of intermittent fever, in which, iustead of a chilly fit, the 
patient went into an apoplexy. 


Want of sleep, is one of the maladies of literary character?, 
and narcotics the grand remedies for their comfort and relief. 
Of these, opium, which the renowned and pious Boerhaave called 
the finger of God, and which the celebrated Sydenham mentions 
with gratitude to the Supreme Being, is the principal. This 
remedy, judiciously managed, is worth more than its weight in 
the most fine gold, nay than of diamonds of the first water. 
Without it, Sylvius declared that he would abandon the science 
of medicine, as holding forth expectations that never could be 
realized. It will always do good if just enough, and not too 
much is given. Doses which are too small, often fail, and even 
make the sufferer more sleepless. 

§ 15. The celebrated Dr. Senter, of Rhode Island, was called 
to a sleepless lady, who was under the care of Dr. Perry. The 
lady informed him that Dr. P. had given her opium, which only 
kept her eyes wide open. Dr. S. expressed his surprise to her 
that a physician of Dr. P.'s judgment, should think of giving her 
opium ; and turning round directed that she should take some- 
thing in another form of composition. This she did, with the 
happiest effects. But after recovery, she was told that the latter 
remedy contained about three times as much opium as her former 
prescriptions. I had this anecdote from the lady herself, who, 
contrary to some ladies, who are not pleased with any deception, 
even if irbenefits them, was highly pleased with the relief she ob- 

§ 16. The white poppy, which produces opium, by its sponta- 
neous juice, grows in its native soils of Asia Minor, India, and 
Egypt, to the height of four or five feet. It is called " Masch- 
Allah," " the gift of God," by the Mussulmen. Opium was 
known as long ago as the time of Galen, and the poppy is men- 
tioned by Homer.* But it is to the illustrious Boerhaave, that 
the modern world owes its extensive medical use. 

In Persia and China, and many other eastern countries, it is 
used as an exhilerant, just as the Europeans and Americans use 
wine and distilled spirits. 

* See the Pharmacologia of Dr. Paris, and ih'e United States Dispensatory. 


Hippocrates does not appear to have used opium as a narcotic, 
or medicine to produce sleep, as he speaks of ^.vdcuv [mecora,] the 
name of the poppy plant in Greek, as a nutritive — mecon, hence 
meconium ; and it is said, that the Persians use the young plants 
which they pull up when they stand too thick, for pot herbs. It 
would from hence appear, that the milky juice only, contains the 
narcotic quality, and that the young plant contains so little of 
this, that it produces no ill effect as an aliment. That Hippo- 
crates did not use opium to produce sleep, may have been owing 
to his preferring some other similar remedy ; as Diagoras, a co- 
temporary of his, appears to have given opium for that purpose, 
as we do now. 

The poppy was cultivated in ancient times, and is so in some 
countries at the present day, for its seeds, which are used as an 
article of food ; sometimes by sprinkling them on bread, and 
sometimes by extracting the oil which they contain, and using it 
instead of butter. Watchmakers, under the name of oil of Ben, 
use this oil for their machinery. 

A solution of opium will kill plants. The bean plant was de- 
slroyed by Dr. Marcet by it in a day and a half. Leeches appli- 
ed to the body of a child which had taken too much poppy- 
heads, pro injection, were killed. Care must be taken never to 
give a large dose of opium to a patient not in pain, for it is never 
needed ; but in cases of severe pain, large doses are sometimes 
the only remedies which nature affords. 




§ 1. We have before alluded to the universality of deception, 
as very surprising indeed. No period is so remote, no clime so 
distant, no court so polished, no nation so simple and uncontami- 
nated, no cloister so secluded, no army so powerful, nor no indi- 
vidual so acute, as not to have been subjected to this all pervading 
principle. All prognostics sometimes fail. Events in philoso- 
phy, in the arts and sciences, in business and pleasure, turn out 
contrary to our anticipations. Sun, moon and stars, clouds, 
winds and skies, seas, seasons and comets, disappoint our calcu- 
lations. If the common origin of man, is to be inferred from his 
having any one thing in common, this is certainly one of the 
most common of all, except his anatomical structure. 

Deception is not confined to man ; animals deceive each other, 
sometimes to their destruction, and then again only to their terror 
and dismay. The mocking bird mocks the sparrow, which thinks 
it hears its mate. It comes hopping and chirping along, when 
suddenly the deceiver changes his tone and mocks the hawk, and 
frightens the poor thing almost to death. We have seen a parrot 
which would call chickens, and drop them its bread, but when 
they approached to pick it up, it would call the dog and set upon 



§ 2. The fascination of birds by serpents, has been affirmed 
and denied ; but upon the whole, the evidence is conclusively in 
favor of some strange and revolting principle in the affair. Curi- 
osity in the bird at the sight of the coils and colors, and darting 
tongue of the reptile, appear to be the first principle of attraction. 
It flutters near, and then flies and flutters away, alternately, when 
at last it flies to the serpent's mouth and is swallowed. There 
have been different theories formed in order to account for so 
mysterious a phenomenon. The poisonous breath of the serpent 
has been supposed to paralyze the bird, when it comes near. But 
why should it come near ? It does come near, so near at last 
that it is swallowed by the snake. A gentleman at the south, 
who viewed the whole process, describes the serpent after it has 
attracted the notice of the bird, as lying perfectly still, at its 
whole length, and only moving its tongue. This it darts out, and 
pulls in, constantly in succession. The curiosity of the bird to 
view its destroyer more closely, has been assigned as the cause of 
its coming so near as to be reached. We can hardly think this 
possible ; and will just mention our own opinion, although it may 
like all others, be liable to objection. It is, that the bird mistakes 
the tongue of the serpent for a worm, which it attempts to seize, 
when it is seized by the snake. As to the poisonous effluvia, or 
breath, it cannot apply, for black snakes have been killed with 


birds in them, which are not a venomous species of serpent, and 
which have no poisonous breath. 

Serpents are known to possess the power of climbing trees 
and thus to reach bird's nests, and to devour youno- birds. The 
parent bird, therefore, beholds them with concern, flies round 
them with a hostile note, and endeavors to drive them away. 
One opinion is, that they sometimes approach so near in their 
hostility, as to be caught by the snake ; but this cannot apply to 
those cases in which birds have been taken, which had no youno-. 
Two birds were seen to have been caught by one black snake, 
which was lying stretched out on the limb of a tree. The snake 
did not move, but the birds came to the snake.* 

Dr. Williamson has written very sensibly upon the subject, 
and imputes the whole process to such a degree of fear in the 
bird, that it becomes dementated, that is infatuated, crazy or mad. 
But if terror be the cause, why does not the bird fly away at first, 
why does it hover nigh, and fly round and round, till it flies to the 
mouth of the terrific object 1 

Fascination, or charming, if this be the cause, as is commonly 
supposed, is a process of which no one knows any thing. It is 
said to be an ancient opinion, which is all that can be said in its 
favor. The instance of panic struck armies, has been adduced in 
support of this theory of fear and terror. But we have never 
heard of an army, which rushed on to the swords and bayonets of 
an enemy, because they were afraid, but on the contrary, we have 
heard of their running away as fast as possible. 

We know that our theory will not apply to snakes catching 
rabbits and squirrels ; but we impute this to the agility of the 
snake, and to the young or feeble state of those individuals which 
they happen to catch. This feeble state may be caused by hun- 
ger in some instances, thirst, or lust in others. A cat one day 
brought in a grown weasel, which curiosity led me to dissect, 
knowing the marked agility of that little animal. I found its 
stomach totally empty of food of any kind, in the most minute 
quantity. This shews why it lost its strength and speed, so as to 
fall a prey to puss. It was a female, and pregnant, and as all 

* See an account from the pen of Hugh Williamson, M. D. in Med. Rep. 
Hex. 2. Vol. IV. p. 341. 



beasts and birds of prey sometimes fail of food, this had shared a 
like fate. 

§ 3. The most prominent piece of deception among ancient 
nations, was that of men and women, assuming preternatural 
powers, pretending to be gods and goddesses, and making the 
multitude believe their pretensions. They were also deified after 
death, when their powers of doing good or evil were supposed to 
be increased. A beautiful stone was presumed to be the residence 
of an angel, or good spirit, and hence gems were worn as amu- 
lets. The Arabians, who during the dark ages preserved letters, 
figures and remedies, transferred them with their superstitious 
notions, to the Europeans. These gems were not only worn, but 
sometimes powdered, and taken as remedies for diseases, or to 
keep off evil spirits, or to cure sterility. And if the recipient had 
health, or good luck, or children, afterwards, it would be, of 
course, imputed to the gem. The putting of corals around the 
necks of infants is a relic of this superstition. 

iEsculapius was the god of medicine. He is said to have re- 
stored many dead to life, of which Pluto complained to Jupiter. 
Pluto, the god of the infernal regions, fearing that his domain 
would lack inhabitants. Jupiter noticed the complaint of Pluto, 
and destroyed the medical god with a thunderbolt. So long as 
the sick imagined their physician to be. a god, they recovered. 

This deception of fancy was not always confined to barbarous 
nations, nor to the ignorant and illiterate, of civilized ones. 
Even Lord Bacon betrayed a disposition to believe in the power 
of charms and amulets, and Mr. Boyle seriously recommended 
the thigh bone of an executed criminal, as a powerful remedy in 

The wise man of the Old World, Solomon, also, as we are told 
by Josephus, used a spell or charm, to increase the efficacy of a 
remedy. The falling sickness or epilepsy, was among the an- 
cients supposed to have been caused by possession, or the influence 
of demons. Solomon is said to have discovered a remedy for 
this terrible disease, in a certain plant ; and to increase its effica- 
cy by mystery, he had the root of the plant concealed in a ring, 

* Pharmacologia, Vol. I. p. 29. Dr. Ives' edition. 


and this ring applied to the nostrils of the patient. This decep- 
tive process, was by a Jewish priest, practised before Vespasian 
and his sons, and the tribunes of the Roman army ; and as Jose- 
phus relates, with entire success.* It is probable that from 
thence a certain plant obtained the name of Solomon's seal, which 
it retains to this day. 

Soranus, who wrote the Life of Hippocrates, relates what is 
well known of honey, to every mother who has a youno- child, 
that it is a remedy for children's sore mouths. But then, this is 
not imputed by him to honey in general, but only to such as the 
bees collect from flowers which grow near the tomb of Hippo- 

Did the man, woman or child, ever live, who was not on some 
occasion, deceived and disappointed ? We have the greatest 
reason to suppose that such an instance never happened. The 
universality of deception must therefore be admitted. 

§ 4. We used formerly to believe with Mr. Locke, that there 
was one universal point, in which all mankind, of every nation, 
agreed, and in which they were not deceived. It is one in which 
all ought to agree, and it is one in which none are deceived who 
hold the opinion. Yet it is proved by a more extensive acquain- 
tance with the nations of the world, than was known in the days 
of Mr. Locke, that his view -cannot be maintained. It was, that 
there was a belief, coextensive with the human race, that there 
existed a Supreme Being. Most, perhaps all, ancient nations, held 
this tenet. This foundation of all religion, was as firmly held by 
the ancient Athenians, as it is by modern Christians. Atheism, 
among that people, even in individuals, was rare, and from one 
circumstance, we should suppose very rare indeed. The instance 
to which we allude, was that of Diagoras. He was a philosopher 
and a poet, but after a while became a professed atheist ; at which 
the Athenians were so much incensed, that the Areopagites, whose 
duty it was to punish impiety, as well as all other crimes, and 
criminals, offered one talent for his head, and a reward of two 
talents if he was brought alive. 

* Id. p. 22. Antiquities of the Jews, Lib. vii. c. 2. 5. 
t Dr. Paris. Vol. I. p. 27. 


The reason that this man became an atheist was, that he did not 
see perjury punished by Heaven. A certain man swore falsely, 
that some of the poetry of Diagoras, was his own, and because 
justice was not done by the gods, Diagoras denied the being of a 

But there may have been some, in every age, who were secret 
atheists, some insect blasphemers, who disgraced themselves, their 
nation, and their species. Still, it is only by modern travellers 
and missionaries, that the fact has been brought to light, that there 
are whole nations of atheists. 

The authority of Bishop Heber is here conclusive. He drew 
his knowledge from personal observation, and was himself among 
the Zeddahs of India, when he wrote. And it is of this nation 
that he says, that " they believe in evil spirits, but have no notion 
of a God, or of future rewards and punishments, and consider it 
a matter of perfect indifference whether they do evil or good."* 

The whole Burman empire are atheists, and have been so, 
according to Dr. Good, for near a thousand years. They how- 
ever expect a deity to appear at no very distant period ; it being 
their opinion that their Boodhs, or gods appear, and disappear, 
at certain periods. 

The supreme good, with this singular people, is utter annihila- 
tion. When their gods first appear, they are not, as they believe, 
in a state of complete perfection. They gradually arrive at this, 
at an indefinite period ; and when it is fully obtained, then do 
they receive their reward, which is annihilation. 

Men, are subjected to the same rules as gods. If both commit 
sin, their sin is to be punished; and according to the number and 
magnitude of their crimes, is to be their punishment. But when 
these sins are thus expiated, then comes the reivard, total anni- 

It would seem to us, that some superior, or Supreme Being, is 
virtually recognised by the opinion that the punishment is propor- 
tioned to the crime ; for how should this apportionment be other- 
wise thus allotted 1 They however reject the doctrine of an eter- 

* See Bishop Heber's Travels in India, Vol. II. p. 190.— Diagoras lived 416 
years before Christ. 


nal self existent being, with horror ; and consider it impossible 
that there ever was, or ever can be, either a god or a man, whose 
existence shall never end. 

These views are fully confirmed by Mr. Judson, an American 
missionary at Burmah. He obtained an audience of the Emperor, 
to whom he presented a tract in the Burmese lan<mao-e. This 
tract began with stating, that there was one eternal God, who was 
independent of the incidents of mortality, and that beside him 
there was no god. The Emperor read this statement, when he 
dropped the tract, or as Mr. Judson says, dashed it down, with 
an air of indifference, perhaps of disdain. The fate of the mis- 
sion appears to have been sealed, by an introduction, in this Em- 
peror's view, so heretical. 

Still this nation cannot be said to be entirely destitute of any 
kind of religion at all, considering that they believe that sin is 
punished ; and considering also, that they hold that virtue is re- 
warded, by what they esteem the greatest good, which with them, 
is non-existence. Even their absurd notions, shew some progress 
in thought, reason, and induction, and mark a nation more ad- 
vanced, than that of New South Wales, of which, Mr. Marsden, 
the King of England's chaplain at that place, says, " They have 
no knowledge of any religion, false or true." 

§ 5. The systems of Locke, Reid, Stuart, and Brown, do not 
appear to differ materially. They all deal in special pleadings. 
Their general conclusions sometimes apply largely, sometimes 
very limitedly, but seldom or never universally. Mr. Locke, in- 
deed, seems to be at odds with himself, when he teaches, that man 
has no innate ideas, and yet that he has an innate idea of Deity ! 
All nations who believe in Revelation, believe that it was given 
locally. Then why is Mr. Locke consistent, in assuming that the 
very basis of all revealed religion is universal 1 

We once knew a friendly Quaker, and a very good sort of man 
was he, but he held, that he should have been the same man 
which he then was, and he was pious and religious, even had there 
been no divine revelation at all. He held that the inward spiritu- 
al teachings, were the same as those of the written word. AVe 
referred him to the state of savage nations, in the wilderness 


wilds, where not one of the many millions living, or who had 
lived, could compare with him, or even with the most diminutive 
Christian. He was unable to parry this argument ; but probably 
remained of his own opinion still. 

The existence and influence of evil spirits, of the serpent, and 
the devil, is revealed. It is a doctrine to be found in the Bible, 
and therefore it is a matter of faith, which is not less than other 
parts of revelation, enjoined on man to believe. We incline to 
think that this belief does exist universally, among all savage 
tribes, and even among the half human Papuan race,* and that it 
may be marked down as a point in which the world agrees. We 
are sometimes compelled to adopt conclusions which are not 
pleasing. But it is far better to adopt unpleasing facts, than to 
deal in fables and false theories. 

The authority of such men as Bishop Heber, Dr. Good, Mr. 
Judson, and Mr. Marsden, is of too serious import to be trifled 
with, and indeed must command our implicit confidence. 

§ 6. Mr. Locke's opinion, that our senses are the inlets of our 
ideas, appears to coincide with that of Lord Bacon, that all our 
knowledge is derived from experience. But these great men are 
not therefore to be accused as having meant to teach that we are 
to believe nothing except what we have seen, and experienced in 
our own proper persons. For this would be the same thing as 
teaching us to disbelieve all history, sacred and profane, as well 
as the existence of all spirits, good and bad, and even of a Deity, 
whom we have never seen. 

Philosophical and metaphysical writers obscure their subjects, 
by the multiplicity and obscurity of the terms which they use. 
Thus we have instinctive prescience ; instinctive propensity ; dic- 
tates of nature ; dictates of internal sensation ; simple notions ; 
ultimate laws ; judgment ; and belief, furnished by the senses ; 
inductive principle ; constitution of human nature ; common under- 
standing ; moral sense ; moral principle ; internal suggestions, 
&c. ;t for the most of which, it is sufficient to use a more common 
phrase, and one which if it is not fully understood, is more simple, 

* The inhabitants of New Holland. 
t See Dr. Good's Book of Nature. 


and which indeed no one, except some fastidious philosopher, 
will deny, that he himself understands— we mean common sense. 
The supposition of the possession of this, is a universal principle, 
It may very properly be termed the instinct of man. We are 
well aware that some men may mistake their own uncommon non- 
sense, for this principle of common sense ; as when the craniolo- 
gist asserts that every man has a bump for stealing. We do not 
believe this assertion of Dr. Gall, nor his assumed fact in its sup- 
port, which is, that there are very few persons who have never 
stole any thing. And still more exceptionable do we deem his 
opinion, that because robbery and murder do exist in the world, 
that they exist by the will of God ; and that God formed a bump 
of the skull, and a propensity of the mind, on purpose that these 
crimes, which he prohibited, should yet be practised. We do not 
admit that such opinions can be maintained, either by reason, 
revelation, or common sense. Nor do we admit that these, and 
other crimes, are willed, wished, or desired, by that Being, who 
gave a law prohibiting them. We believe, that when a moral 
agent was created, that power was given him to commit crimes, 
as well as to practice virtue ; but that the latter was alone desir- 
ed, and as we well know, commanded in the Bible. 

§ 7. The great mystery is contained in that act of the Creator, 
which created man an agent, which was capable of transgressing 
his will. Yet, unless this was done, no moral agent was ever 
created at all. And we certainly do not concede, that he who 
made man, punishes him for crimes which he predetermined that 
he should commit, and which he could not possibly avoid. 

An omnipotent Being could exert his prescience, or withhold it, 
just as he pleased. If he could not do this, he was not omnipotent. 
And that he does not, on all occasions, exert supreme power, is 
self evident ; for if he did, he would at once banish sin, and mise- 
ry, from the world, and make men holy and happy. The matter 
then resolves itself into this : that the possessor of all power, and 
all foreknowledge, may not choose to exercise either, upon all 

Infinity, if it chose so to do, might have determined to know, 
only by the result, whether his moral agent, man, would obey or 


disobey. And it is just as easy to suppose this to have been the 
true state of the case, as it is, that when God possessed all power, 
that he did not choose to exert it, and thus to prevent the fall, the 
disobedience, and the misery of man. And this we do certainly 
know to be the fact. It is one of the most difficult things in the 
world, to conceive of any being, who has the complete and entire 
power of having every thing precisely as he pleases, that he should 
not have them so as he pleases. But we do know, that in rela- 
tion to the Supreme Being, this is true. Else had not the Bible 
told us, that he repented that he made man, and that grieved him 
to the heart. We know that certain commentators deny this part 
of their Bible outright. But we do not see but that the appellation 
of deist is as much deserved by such, as by those who deny the 
whole of revelation. 

§ 8. The principles of Messrs. Gall and Spurzheim, when 
carried out, teach nothing less then that men were designed for 
thieves and assassins. They appeal to his anatomical formation, 
as proof positive of this. 

Now the great and excellent Dr. Good, did not believe a single 
word of their pretended science ; nor did the late Dr. Wistar, of 
Philadelphia ; and a man of purer principles, nor a greater anato- 
mist never existed. He had also an opportunity of judging cor- 
rectly upon the subject, by having been an eye witness to the 
dissection of the human brain, and to the pretended demonstration 
of phrenology, by one of its great advocates ; which, in his view, 
amounted to just nothing at all. The present writer heard him 
speak in relation to this matter ; and although he was as free from 
dogmatism, and peremptoriness, generally, as any man in the 
world, and the very model of deference and urbanity, yet upon 
this subject, he did speak so as not to be misunderstood, that 
he considered it all as an imposture or delusion. 

Still, although we deny that the head of man has thirty-two or 
thirty-three distinct divisions, and that the criminal code can be 
taught by them, we do admit that the human countenance can 
express pleasure and pain, anger and good nature ; and that some 
countenances are formed by nature with the dial of the mind im- 
printed on the face. Physiognomy, thus far, is a predominant 


principle. The young child, and the young puppy, read the hu- 
man countenance divine. Both will fly the angry look and me- 
nacing aspect, and both will notice the picture of good nature and 
mildness, and be ever ready to receive the embraces and fondlings 
of such persons as wear them in their countenances. So far, 
physiognomy is a universal principle. 

§ 9. There is no difficulty, with those who have clear ideas 
themselves, in communicating them to others. When Dr. Reid 
says, that common sense belongs neither to the mind nor to the 
corporeal senses, but that it is a part of human nature which hath 
never been explained, it is very evident that his ideas are in the 
clouds, and that he communicates nothing to his readers but be- 
clouded notions. Dr. Beattie's definition is more to the purpose, 
when he teaches, that it is a power of the mind, which perceives 
truth, so far as to command belief, by instinctive impulse. Mr. 
Stewart makes common sense, and common reason, to be the 
same. And if we confine his common reason to first impulses, or 
to our first thoughts, he does not appear much, if any, out of the 
Avay. But the common sense of men, after all, will differ, be- 
cause their experience, their tact, or delicacy of perception, and 
their wit, genius, and judgment differ. 

He is the greatest general, who can bring the greatest number 
of men to bear upon the enemy, at any given point, with the most 
celerity. And this solves the enigma, of Buonaparte's vast supe- 
riority to his opponents, as well as Julius Caesar's. It is precisely 
so with individuals in private life. The man who can summon 
all the energies of his mind at once, and who can discover all, or 
the greatest number, of contingent relations, facts, and probabili- 
ties, upon a given and passing subject, is the greatest man ; and 
this whether he be a divine, a physician, a lawyer, politician, 
soldier or scholar. 

Lord Bacon said of knowledge, that it was power. But in 
order for a man's knowledge to be powerful, it must, like an army, 
be concentrated. Eccentric knowledge, is like a scattered army ; 
it is divided, and therefore will be conquered. 

There were individuals of antiquity, who by the light of nature, 
obtained a firm belief of the existence, and correct ideas oftho 


attributes, of the Divinity. Thus Epicurus says, that he pos- 
sessed all immortality and beatitude. Cicero called God, the in- 
expressible Being; and says, that "the stable and perpetual 
courses of the heavenly bodies, with their admirable and wonder- 
ful regularity, manifest in themselves a divine energy and intelli- 
gence, in so much that the man who does not see in them the 
power of the divinity, must be truly stupid and insensible."* 

Socrates, Plato, and Seneca, have all expressed ideas of the 
Deity, not unbecoming those who have had the light of Revela- 
tion. And Paul refers the Athenians to what their own poets had 
said, upon the same subject, with approbation. 

One cause, if not the sole cause of Socrates' having been put 
to death, was, that he ridiculed the many gods in whom the Athe- 
nians of his time believed. It was evidently his design to teach 
his pupils their folly in trusting to false gods, and to fix their minds 
upon the Great Supreme. 

Instances of this kind might be multiplied, were it necessary ; 
but we refer to the subject in this place, in order to shew, to what 
sublime heights human nature may arrive, when its powers and 
energies are concentrated. For those philosophers whom we 
have named as having arrived to the height of true knowledge, 
had also an immense store of knowledge upon other subjects. 
And in the language of Cicero, it was the stupid and insensible, 
who could view the heavenly bodies without being drawn to the 
contemplation of one superior, intelligent, and Divine Being. 
And in relation to the same subject, some one of the moderns has 
observed, that an atheist had gotten one point beyond the devil. 

But the query very naturally occurs, how whole nations should 
have existed, and yet not have had any notions of the Divinity. 
The opinion of Soame Jenyns was, that those who had this idea, 
derived it from revelation, by intercourse with the Jews, or by in- 
tercourse with those who had had some connection with, or tradi- 
tion from them. That elegant writer even carried the matter so 
far as to maintain that those nations which never had any such 
intercourse, direct or collaleral, did not even know how to make 
a nail or a hatchet. We admit, however, that this opinion of the 

* Cicero De N€twa Deorum, as quoted by Lord Brougham. 



great supporter of divine revelation,* has been called in question, 
and that when we consider the Egyptians, the Mexicans, and the 
Chinese, that it seems impossible to maintain it. 

One consideration occurs to us here, which is, that although a 
few of the ancients had elevated ideas of the Divine perfections, 
yet still, it does not appear that the great mass of the nations to 
which they appertained, had conceptions any more sublimed than 
those of barbarians. 

Such men as Plato and Cicero, elevated the nations of which 
they were members ; but we must be very careful to consider that 
their mark is far too high to be stamped upon the national char- 
acter of their respective people. They were like the church of 
St. Peter at Rome, compared to the wigwam of the American 
savage, or the kraal of the Hottentot. 

High, very high, but higher seemed, because all near was low. 

But there may have been in every nation, never so barbarous, 
certain individuals who were the Platos and Ciceros of their 
communities — who were, in their conceptions, what Gengis- 
Khan was in arms, superior to all others of their time. 

The records of many uncivilized empires never can be known, 
because they do not exist ; and there have been men in every age, 
whose brightness threw into shadows and shades, all their cotem- 
poraries ; and whose characters, for that very reason, have been 
martyred because of their virtues. Epicurus, whose common 
diet was bread and water alone, who neither used wine, strong 
drink, nor animal food, was so detested for his abstinence, that 
the intemperate conspired to ruin his character with posterity, by 
slander. They pretended that his apparent abstemiousness was 
dissembled, and that he was in reality luxurious and sensual. 
Hence the most temperate man in the world, by false accusation, 
has left his name standing at the head of wine bibbers and glut- 
tons. Such O poor human nature is thy fate. It is true, how- 
ever, that Epicurus taught his followers that the happiness of 
mankind consisted in pleasure. But whence was that pleasure 

* See the Internal Evidences of the Christian Religion, by Soame Jenyns, 
Esq. Mr. Jenyns was many .years M.' P. for Cambridge. 


derived ? Agreeably to the true experience of all rational beings, 
and to the dictates of all true religion and morality, he taught 
that it was derived from temperance, the enjoyments of a mind 
unsullied, and from the sweets of virtue ; and that it did not con- 
sist in the gratification of the palate or passions, which was the 
bane of pleasure, and all social and rational enjoyment. He re- 
futed the Stoics, who attacked his doctrine, and added weight to 
the refutation, by the purity of his life, and the unsullied guile- 
lessness of his morals. Such sentiments, and such a life, could 
only have emanated from correct and exalted ideas of the Divini- 
ty, and these, as we have seen, he eminently possessed. His fol- 
lowers, albeit, may not in this respect, all of them, have fully 
appreciated the exalted notions of their leader ; as we find that 
some of them alleged that the existence of evil militated against 
the doctrine of an intelligent Creator, and was a proof of im- 

§ 10. Aristotle was a philosopher, who is reckoned with the 
Pantheists. He held that God and matter were equally of eter- 
nal duration, both being without either beginning or end ; and 
that some such union exists between the Supreme Being and the 
material world, as between the bodies and souls of men. This 
opinion was revived and amplified in modern times, by Mr. John 
Toland, in England, who was secretary and chaplain to a, set of 
philosophical idolaters, who held that an etherial fire surrounds 
all things ; rules, revives and disposes them. They therefore 
professed the worship of all Nature. Vanini, an Italian, appears 
to have imbibed a similar opinion. His god was Nature. Pan- 
theism appears to be a modern term. 

§11. One more view remains to be taken of the opinions of 
all nations, respecting the Divinity. Every nation, and every 
tribe under the sun, have had ideas respecting the existence of 
spirits of some kind, either good or bad, or of both good and 
bad. Those who only acknowledged the existence of evil spirits, 
were mostly such as were evil themselves, who had evil compan- 
ions, who had ill success in hunting and fishing, who had more 
noticed clouds than sunshine, and hurricanes than vernal pleasant 


breezes. Like the savage, who was speaking of a certain place 
which was noted for thunder, lightning, tempest, and scarcity, he 
said that there was no good spirit there— there the good Lord did 
not rule. The ideas of mankind, and of the wisest philosophers 
which the world has ever known, have elevated the attributes of 
the Deity, in proportion to the altitude of their own conceptions ; 
and on the other hand, the ignorant savage, 

" Sees God in storms, and hears him in the wind ;" 

and by all, afflictions were seldom forgotten, and mercies seldom 

§ 12. We are loth to find any thing amiss in the writings of 
so good a man, and so good a writer, as was Mr. Locke. Still, 
we have viewed his denial of innate ideas, taken in connection 
with his derivation of all our ideas from external objects, by 
means of the senses, as savouring of atheism ; for what is that 
substantial, external, sensible thing, which gives us the idea of 
the Divinity, and of his Spirituality 1 and why, if all our ideas 
are derived from the senses, and why, as the senses are alike, or 
similar in all the human race, are not our ideas and opinions also, 
all alike, or equally alike ? This is a question which we have 
never heard as yet satisfactorily answered. If all ideas are deri- 
ved from sensation, all ideas, in different individuals, ought to be 
as similar as are their senses and sensations. 

§ 13. Spinozism does not materially differ from Pantheism. 
Spinoza was born a Jew, at Amsterdam, in 1632. He was a ma- 
terialist, in the fullest sense of the word. He held that God is an 
infinitely perfect Being, that he was the cause of all things that 
exist, but still, that the world, and all things in existence, consti- 
tuted God — that there is but one Being, and one Nature, and that 
that Being is both agent and patient, spirit and matter, and that 
he produces nothing but modifications of himself— the whole 
world, man, and the souls of men, all are parts of the Divinity, 
endowed, however, with an infinite variety of attributes, such afl 
extension, cogitation, locomotion, growth, and decay, but not an- 
nihilation *, and that there is only one substance in the universe — 


that this substance, this universe, is one and the same Being, and 
no other than the Eternal God. 

This goes to the exclusion of any such beings as spirits, it de- 
nies the Scripture doctrine of the devil and his angels, and makes 
the Deity the sole author of all evil, both physical and moral. It 
appears to be a doctrine full of absurdities, Atheistical, and im- 
pure, and too glaringly erroneous to require much time spent in 
its refutation. It makes the Divinity, when at the fall of man, he 
cursed the world, to curse himself! and this very thing has so 
forcibly struck us, as in our minds to be an ample and sufficient 
mark of its abominable wickedness. 



§ I. Life, is living matter in motion. Health, is the regular, 
placid, pleasurable, motion of life. Disease, is an irregular and 
perturbed, and painful movement of some one part, or of the 
whole bodily or mental organs. Death, is the cessation of all 
motion, healthy and diseased. 

The specific actions of life, are those of the brain, blood, heart, 
lungs, nerves, muscles, fibres, and viscera. Upon these depend 
the senses, and the secretions, as well as the excretions. 

The secretion of bile, is a slow motion. The secretion of 
tears is a quicker motion, and the secretion of a blush upon a 
lady's cheek, is an instantaneous motion. 

The higher classes of animals, like man, have sensation and 
passion. Seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling, affec- 
tion, natural affection, anger, joy and grief, are common proper- 
ties, inherited by all ; so is self preservation, which is a perpetual 
motion, so long as life and wakefulness continue ; but they all 
end for a time in sleep, in which state many of the accompani- 
ments of life are suspended ; but even in that state, breathing, the 
motion of the heart, and the circulation of the blood, continue. 

Life more immediately depends upon two fluids, which are air 
and blood ; yet persons die, when surrounded with pure air, and 
when full of good blood. If the motion of the proper organs 
cease to move these vital fluids, death ensues. Life must there- 
fore, be defined to be living matter in motion, and death the ces- 
sation of all motion. 

§ 2. A man that does not sleep well, must stop his clock, and 
let his watch run down. Sleep defies all rigid rules. It is lost by 
being too much courted, like some fair faces. He who is inclined 


to sleep too much, must go to bed late and rise early, and keep hw 
time pieces in motion, as they tend to produce watching, because 
they are watched. 

The separate state of the soul, is a state of conscious exist- 
ence. It is life independent of all the bodily organs. In the 
present state of existence, the soul loses its consciousness during 
sleep, but in its separate state, whether it ever sleeps or not, we 
have no data to form conclusions from, except that the Saviour 
slept whilst on earth. 

§ 3. The word soul, in the Bible, appears sometimes to be 
used for both body and soul ; as where we are told that the soul 
that sinneth it shall die, and when we are told of Noah and his 
family, that eight souls were saved by water. We also read that 
" they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the 
soul," and that " they sought their meat to relieve their souls." 

" Say that the weary flesh the willing soul delays," 

is a pretty line from Petrarch, and corresponds with a sentiment 
from an infinitely higher source, that "the spirit indeed is willing, 
but the flesh is weak." 

The word heart, appears sometimes to be used to denote the 
soul, or thinking part, as where we read of man, " that every 
imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil contin- 

§ 4. A proof of the immateriality and immortality of the 
soul, may be derived from the consideration that its intrinsic at- 
tributes, such as ideas, recollection, judgment, imagination, and 
memory, are immaterial. Now we know of nothing which de- 
cays, except it be some kind or other of matter. No immaterial 
thing decays. We do not know, however, that all kinds of mat- 
ter decay, and we have reason to think that air does not, and 
certainly it never turns to dust. It has been, perhaps, rather too 
hastily concluded that both Moses and Job, make the soul to con- 
sist of air, or breath. It is true that the former says, " the Lord 
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his 
nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." But 


we should only infer from this, that the word soul, is used here, 
as it is elsewhere, for the whole corporeal and spiritual man 
conjoined, and that it does not decide that the breath alone is 
the soul, any more than it decides that the breath alone is the 
body. We cannot prove any position, nor establish any fact, 
from the Bible, by quoting a passage or passages from it, which 
does not relate to the subject ; nor ought we ever to attempt to 
prove any doctrine from obscure texts, against the decision of 
those which are plain and perspicuous, and easy to be understood. 
We have seen attempts of this kind which have struck us with 
horror, and which have compelled us to the conclusion, that we 
were reading the works of dishonest, and unprincipled sectarians, 
who would make difficult texts mean just what they pleased, and 
never once appeal to others, which undeniably decided against 
their dogmas and dogmatism. We have indeed seen treatises of 
this kind, founded upon certain passages of the epistles of Paul, 
which attempted to establish doctrines which that Apostle said 
not a single word about, but which were spoken of explicitly in 
the Evangelists, which they did not quote, because they decided 
positively and unequivocally against them ; and even the other 
writings of Paul, were equally plain, and in agreement with the 
Gospels, whereas, the texts selected by these writers had no bear- 
ing upon the ordinances which they were aiming to establish. We 
cannot express our contempt for such barefaced dishonesty, and 
therefore will not attempt it. But we have already in another 
place, treated upon these subjects, and therefore, shall here be 

§ 5. The picture presented to view by these writers was, not 
merely allegorical — it was no attempt of the kind. It was no 
parable nor parody. It was that of taking certain passages of 
Scripture, whose meaning was not very apparent, and upon the 
interpretation of which, the best commentators, and the soundest 
divines, have differed, and saying that they meant that which they 
did not express, nor even imply ; and then building doctrines 
upon them in direct contrariety to the plainest expressions in the 
Bible. These remarks, however, are not meant to apply to the 
expressions used in Scripture, respecting the soul, which word, 


in different parts of the Bible, has shades of different meaning, 
and is so used, by the sacred writers, that men may honestly and 
conscientiously differ respecting it, and them. The words of Job, 
which have been referred to, respecting the soul, as coinciding 
with those used by Moses, are these ; " the spirit of God is in my 
nostrils." But it may well be questioned, whether these words 
import any thing more than a general superintendance and sup- 
port by providence of life, whilst the body exists, and a reference 
to its fleeting and transitory state, and to the spirit's returning to 
God who gave it, when life ends. 

§ 6. Our great lexicographer, Noah Webster, makes the soul 
in Scripture, to signify appetite, and refers to Proverbs xxvii. in 
proof of this. It is said in that chapter, that " the full soul 
loatheth an honey-comb ; but to the hungry soul every bitter 
thing is sweet." We do not here find, therefore, as Mr. Webster 
assumes, that soul and appetite are used as synonyms, but only 
that the latter is made to be an attribute of the former. Soul is 
here used as in many other places, for man himself. The active, 
thinking, desiring, craving, and loathing part of man, is made to 
stand for the sum total of his being, and called his soul. 

§ 7. Those who make the soul to consist in the breath, may 
refer to what we are told, that God breathed into man the breath 
of life, and he became a living soul. But this would not reach 
the case of the unborn infant, which has life, but never has breath- 
ed. Josephus speaks of a spirit and a soul, and gives as a reason 
why Moses forbade blood to be eaten, (the blood of animals,) that 
he esteemed it to contain the soul and spirit.* He thus evidently 
understood Moses, as teaching that the brute creation had souls. 
In this way, therefore, may the unborn infant be endowed with a 
soul, as it has red blood, and life, although it never has breathed. 
It is worthy of a passing notice, that Adam had his name from 
the red earth of which he was formed, and that all nations have 
red blood, let their skins be of whatever color they may. Red 
earth is, according to Josephus, earth of the purest kind. The 
red color of the blood, has been supposed by physiologists, to de- 

* Book III. Chap, xi Sec. 2, of Josephus. 



pend upon the iron which it contains ; and they have calculated 
that the blood of forty men, contains iron enough to make a 

But it would not appear by the Bible, nor by Josephus, that an 
unborn infant, if it was destroyed by an injury done to the 
mother, was considered any thing more than a misdemeanor, 
which was to be atoned for by such a fine, or the payment of such 
a sum, to the husband, as the judges should direct ; and that it 
was not considered as murder, unless the woman was so injured 
that she died herself, in which case the aggressor was to be capi- 
tally punished.* 

This would go to prove, that a child before it was born, or 
breathed the breath of life, was not considered a living soul ; and 
so far this matter can be investigated upon paramount principles, 
and not much further. Moses, Job, and Josephus, seem here to 
agree. It is remarkable that Josephus, although he agrees with 
the Bible, with respect to its not being a capital offence for another 
person to produce abortion, yet if a woman produced abortion in 
herself, he understood the law of Moses, as making it a capital 

§ 8. We find a notice in our manuscript journal, of a woman 
who first turned poet upon her death bed ; and of a young woman 
who first shewed a taste for music in the same critical situation ; 
and it is not very uncommon for predictions or prophecies to be 
uttered in the dying hour. We once attended a gentleman, an 
attorney by profession, who was said to have predicted the hour at 
which he should die, which took place according to his predic- 
tion. It was made during his illness. 

Dr. Rush, mentions a clergyman who swore just before his 
death. Dr. Priestly, and Dr. William Hunter, are said to have 
died singing or laughing. 

Life will continue longest in those parts least affected with 
disease ; hence, when the head is not diseased, thought and hear- 
ing may continue after the pulse and breathing cease. We have 
seen a man play with an infant, and smile when dying ; and two 

* Exod. xxi. 22, 23. Josephus, Ant. p. 138. B. V. C. viii. 


others, who joked with their attendants, and laughed in the same 
solemn hour. 

The gloomy and contracted look about the forehead, in those 
recently dead, may be owing to some sparks of life still remain- 
ing. We noticed this in a man who had been a member of the 
legislature of the state in which he lived, but who died by hang- 
ing himself. The corpse of such persons loses the frown and 
becomes pleasant, after such a while as life is entirely at an end 
in the fibres and muscles. 

The New England troops in the last war, were said to have 
suffered as do the Swiss, that is, from home sickness. The Vir- 
ginia troops suffered from being deprived of their accustomed 
diet, and longed for hams and hominy. The Irish soldiers suf- 
fered nothing, their home sickness consisting of being sick of 
home ; they were perfectly contented abroad. 

§ 9. "When diseases are caused by intemperance in eating, by 
secret drinking, by guilt, by the prospect of bankruptcy, or by 
love, the patient will not reveal to his physician what the matter 
is ; and if he cannot establish an opinion by his own sagacity, he 
must make confidential inquiries of the sick man's friends. 
Great intemperance may be called temperance by some, hence 
the physician should try to ascertain the quantity of strong drink 
which his patient is in the habit of taking, or has heretofore con- 

Cicero remarks, that there never was an error so great, or so 
absurd, which did not find its supporters and adherents ; and we 
see the truth of this remark, evinced in animal magnetism, 
Thompsonianism and vegetable diet. 

A sick man is seldom or never a wise man, and foolish physi- 
cians sometimes succeed best, by silly speeches and absurd pre- 
scriptions, which suit the sickly notions of his patient. 

Hope is invigorated by discovering that well persons, and espe- 
cially physicians, think as he does who is sick. A healthy wis- 
dom, and a cheerful countenance, cannot always be borne by the 
patient. However wise he may be when well, the sick man, is 
not, we repeat, a wise man ; and as fools rush in, where angels 
fear to tread, unless a wise physician has been chosen in health, 
a foolish one will be selected in sickness. 


Improvements and progress in knowledge, with some, consist 
entirely in new names ; and as fools in this world, beat the wise 
in the number of names, they ever have hitherto ruled it. It is 
true, however, that they often fare as did the patients of Celsus, 
who when they would not be guided by reason, in the important 
matter of abstinence, were allowed to eat, but immediately had 
an emetic given them, to unload their stomachs. 

§ 10. But emetics were one of the Roman luxuries. The 
Roman epicures used to throw up what they had eaten in order 
to eat again. Emetics are useful but disagreeable remedies. 
The evil must be endured, that the good may succeed ; just as 
the labour of ploughing and spading, and hoeing a garden, must 
be borne, that fruits and flowers may reward the toiler. Divines 
teach us that we must by a course of trial, agony, and self denial, 
reach heaven, if we reach it at all, and that we cannot get there 
on downy beds of ease. 

It is one of the links in the chain of human nature, that those 
exciting causes which produce sickness and death in some, pro- 
duce health and vi^or in others. We are thus bound to the world 
by a golden chain, one end of which is in the grave, and the other 
end in heaven. In the time of plague and yellow fever, some 
weakly persons have the best health. 

Why do we yawn, why do we sneeze, why do we cough, why 
do we sleep, why do we sweat, why do we weep ? These natu- 
ral remedial propensities, may prevent asthma, consumption, gout, 
apoplexy, and death. Slight aberrations from high health, and 
from wakeful vigor, procrastinate severe diseases, and even death 
itself. We die nightly, that we may live daily. Sleep, is to all 
imaginable purposes, death, so long as it lasts. If we even think 
in sleep, we think incorrectly, for there never was yet a correct 
dream, ever known in all its bearings and relations, of which we 
have had any account from any person living. We do not, of 
course, include those impressions to which the Bible refers, made 
on the mind by divine agency, in our definition of common 
dreams. These we leave out of the question. We mean that 
dreams cannot be put in competition with the waking faculties of 
reason, judgment, discretion, and experience; all which they 
ought to supersede, if they were inspirations divine ! 



All ! many an hour that haunting face, 

Will seem like all that's bright, 
To occupy its former place, 

And gladden and delight. 

Her forehead crowned with auburn hair, 

Than carded silk more fine, 
Her step, her laugh, her cheerful air, 

Would round the heart entwine. 

The poetry of all her sex, 

Seemed centered in her mien, 
A goddess nymph it would perplex, 

To find so fair a queen. 

The show of languor, sickness, pain, 

Her movements seemed to mock, 
They spoke that tombs were made in vain, 

That shrouds could never shock. 

But death with all its horrors came, 

And gave a wrench from life ; 
Her heart-strings broke, down fell her frame, 

Nor sickness held a strife. 

A sudden death ! to startle all ! 

No warning, no delay ; 
As stars from highest heavens fall, 

Life rushed, and left her clay. 

We could not realize the truth, 

Although before us dead, 
Lay spirit, beauty, wit, and youth, 

So soon their soul had fled. 

But when we heard her tolling bell, 

Our agonies struck deep ; 
The tears in countless numbers fell, 

Our eyes seemed blood to weep. 

The temple now most solemn sounds, 

Each life-breath bears a knell, 
The heavenward spire, the woodland bounds, 

The thrilling tidings tell. 



Her life on earth, is now a name, 

A name that thought will raise, 

And with it bring that fairy frame, 

That nought on earth displays. 

Her graceful speech, her angel smile, 

Will on our fancy beam, 
And friendship strive, and many a while, 

To make her death a dream . 

As sunbeams o'er the vast inane, 

Leave night without a ray, 
Death broke the links of life in twain, 

And soulless left her clay. 

Her form, her hand, her brow, her eyes, 
Twin cherry lips and cheeks, 

Her voice melodious as the skies, 
When May of summer speaks, 

Have gone ; and she to heaven, to tell 
How death disrobed them all, 

How she had passed her passing bell, 
And lain beneath her pall. 

But happier scenes we trust await 
That sudden change of thine, 

Though friends may mourn thy frowning fate. 
Thou will not with them join. 

Strange shrinking terrors come by death, 

The rose and lily yield; 
It frosts the blood, and stops the breath, 

With horrors unrevealed. 

The greatest sermon ever preached, 

Fell not upon the ear ; 
No sound that organ ever reached, 

So solemn as this here. 




§ 1. Did not the experience of mankind go to prove that mise- 
ry is the result of crime, vice would go on spreading and swelling, 
and elevating itself to universal empire. For it is a fact, that no 
one is virtuous of choice, and that all are vicious without some 
kind of compulsion to drive them in to virtue's ranks. We 
have been surprised that even some, or perhaps all, savage na- 
tions, have no laws, on account of this universal extension of vice, 
to punish it. But they have a more appalling remedy than laws; 
private and summary revenge, often ending in assassination and 
murder. A strong man will let go his hold of a mouse, rather 
than receive the immediate infliction of a wound by its bite. 

The state of the savages is like that of most of the ancient na- 
tions of the world ; for Josephus tells us, that no ancient nation 
had any code of laws but the Jews ! all being governed by the 
will of their kings, generals, or governors, except the Jews. 

Were it not that a well known train of evils, physical, and moral, 
and personal, await the wine-bibber, who would refrain the spark- 
ling glass? Righteousness is a duty which a man owes to his 
own soul, justice is one which he owes to his neighbor, mercy to 
his beast, and temperance to his own health and character. All 
these duties were so much neglected by the uncivilized nations of 
antiquity, and such a train of immoralities perpetrated in their 
place, that the same word is used in the Gospel for a sinner, a 


heathen, and a gentile.* Where there is a general combination 
in favor of vice and stupidity, such men as were our Washington, 
and Franklin, pass the world undistinguished. 

§ 2. Philosophy and recklessness have some things in com- 
mon, but from very different motives. Neither pay much regard to 
misfortunes. And as it is those who keep their wants and disas- 
ters to themselves, who stand the best chance to have them alle- 
viated, they again in this respect have a kind of unnatural coinci- 
dence. He is most apt to have the offer of the loan of money, 
who has not told that he is in need of it. And the spendthrift who 
has but a single shilling left in his pocket, talks the loudest about 

§ 3. It is not easy to disprove the testimony of a single wit- 
ness to an incredible story, but when a number combine, to tell a 
lying wonder, it is a hundred to one, if they are not detected, by 
being found to disagree. Hence the Italian quack, at Constanti- 
nople, who sent his patient about the city to swear that the doc- 
tor had taken out his liver, removed its diseases, and then put it 
back again, was in no danger of not having a crowd at his heels. 

Some people's eyes appear only to be made for the purpose of 
espying wonders, and their tongues for relating them. We may 
travel all day with one of these heroes, and upon stopping at an 
inn for the night, ourselves will be made to stare as much as any 
of the inmates, at the recital of what passed before our own eyes, 
but of which we saw nothing at all. There is no bosom so fair as 
imagination paints, nor no events so marvelous as those which 
fancy and fiction conjure up. 

§ 4. The study of personal virtue and vice, has usually ended 
like lawsuits, by the conviction that each party had something to 
praise and something to blame. We seldom find a character so 
excellent as to not have a dark spot ; as the rainbow, with its 
beautiful stripes, is still seated on a cloud. Those therefore are 
most popular and most wise, who do not deal largely in either 
praise or blame ; experience having taught, that those who are 

* Adam Clarke, on Mat. ix. 10. 


censured become active enemies, whilst those who are praised re- 
main but passive friends. The memory of a jest or an injury is 
retained, whilst a benefit is forgotten. A wit has always therefore 
to fear a person with a memory. 

§ 5. Virtue and vice do exist sometimes in excess ; but it is 
reasoning- from particulars to generals, which is bad logic, to con- 
clude, and to act, as though this was true, upon a large, or com- 
mon scale. True friendship has neither its hot nor cold fits, but 
like the blood of life, it flows in a current steady and uniform. 
Like a string of diamonds, it must not be held too loosely, for fear 
that it will drop from the hand, nor drawn too tight, lest it be 
broken asunder and the diamonds scattered. 

§ 6. It is a curious fact in the history of regions, that where 
nature has shed her bounties with the most profusion, that the 
inhabitants present most instances of insanity, bankruptcy, and 
hypochondriacism. It is there that the estates of persons deceas- 
ed are represented insolvent. A gentleman noticing this fact, in 
the advertisements in a newspaper, of a certain town, concluded, 
as he told the present writer, that it must be the poorest town in 
the state ; but business calling him into it, he found it one of the 

Some countries seem destined to the production of the vegeta- 
ble creation in the greatest perfection. In some parts of South 
America, esculent roots, which are elsewhere only cultivated in 
gardens, grow spontaneously for leagues together, where they are 
food for cattle. 

Other regions develope the corporeal frame exuberantly, but 
leave the mind in the rear ; as Germany, which as long ago as 
near two thousand years, was by Julius Caesar observed, as hav- 
ing men of large bodies, and slow minds. Italy again presents 
a race with acute minds, but of small bodies. There, music, 
poetry, statuary, and painting, are in perfection. And the greatest 
discovery ever made, was owing to one of her inhabitants, Colum- 
bus, who discovered America. 

Italy is, however, a country of contrasts ; of palaces and huts, 
princes and beggars, of sanctity and trifling, of humility and vani- 


ty, of religion and immorality ; a race who are careful to have 
their old sins pardoned, that they may go and commit new ones 
with lighter hearts. 

Perhaps the same region, however different in religion and the 
government, have in all ages, some marks of resemhlance. When 
the external marks of sanctity are considered, in modern Rome, 
it must remind us of what has been said of the ancient Roman 
emperors; that they thought they could not have too many gods, 
nor too little religion. The present race think that they cannot 
have too many religious rites, or too little morality. 

§ 7. It is a trait of almost all who have written upon modern 
Theology, to make bold and broad assertions, and to support 
them with feeble, insufficient facts, and proofs, and arguments ; 
evidently expecting that their subject was to stand for every thing, 
whether it was treated with ability, mediocrity, or imbecility. 
Such writers never ought to touch a pen, and it should be an in- 
dictable offence to sell them a sheet of paper. They have done 
religion injuries unbounded, and incalculable. Let no sermons 
nor commentaries meet the public eye from palsied and paltering 
hands. Religion can do much better without than with them. It 
stands strong of itself, and can only be made to tremble in the eyes 
of weak persons, who see it touched with hands trembling with 
the palsy. 

A man who supposes that his assertions are to stand for proofs, 
only because he wears a black coat, will, in these days, find him- 
self miserably mistaken. 

Dr. Priestly, although a man of science, appears to have been 
one of those bold asserters and feeble provers ; his substitute for 
proofs, being repeated modes of misunderstanding his opponents. 
We have known something of these unfair and provoking usur- 
pers of the black, who would cavel at the plainest text in the Bible, 
if quoted by an antagonist. Those who cannot feel the weight 
of an argument, never produce arguments which have any weight 
themselves. And those who use hypercritical remarks when talk- 
ing about the Bible, are hypocrites themselves. 

§ 8. " There is no unmixed happiness in any state of life, but 
no one wishes to be perpetually told so." Those days which are 


passed without sin or sorrow, may stand as samples of human 
life, which are not to be lamented. As slowness of recovery from 
sickness sometimes argues well for the continuance of future 
health, so slowness of maturity in talents, provided there is a 
gradual increase in knowledge, is most likely to ensure a high 
degree of brilliancy. 

§ 9. The greatest and most profound writer that Europe has 
ever yet produced, was Samuel Johnson, but he had no precocity 
of talents, unless we admit his epitaph on the duck to be genuine. 
And this, on the whole, we feel rather inclined to do, and to place 
it among those scintillations of future eminence, which occasion- 
ally appear in individuals at an early age, but which disappear for 
an indefinite space, to be revived again, or not revived at all, as 
contingencies occur. 

Here lies good master duck, 

That Samuel Johnson trod on ; 

Had it lived 'twould have been good luck, 

For it was an odd one. 

This is said to have been composed by him at the age of four 
years, in consequence of his having killed a young duck, out of 
a progeny of thirteen, by accidentally treading upon it. 

The elevation and excellency of human minds, are sometimes 
shown as forcibly by what they select, admire, and praise, in 
others, as by what they invent themselves. Had Dr. Johnson 
never given evidence of his talents in any other way than by 
pointing out what is worthy of praise and imitation in writers 
moral, religious, and instructive, the high order of his mind would 
be abundantly evident. He observed of Thomas a'Kempis, that 
his book must be a good one, since the world with open arms had 
so generally received it. Be not angry that you cannot make 
others as you wish them to be :— This is a sentiment from that 
work, reiterated by Johnson, and what higher authority can be 
desired, in proof of its excellence 1 

Dr. Beattie, from Dr. Johnson's devotional diary, entitled by 
Dr Johnson, his prayers and meditations, set down as a most 
extraordinary incongruity, his recording upon what he dined. 


Thus, " N. B. I dined to day on herrings and potatoes." This 
is Dr. Johnson's note. But it is no such extraordinary incongrui- 
ty as Dr. Beattie seems to suppose, to thank God for such a din- 
ner ; a dinner to be sure not the very best, but yet such an one as 
Ireland and Scotland do not always afford to its suffering popula- 
tion. Besides, Dr. Johnson elsewhere observed, that he who did 
not care for what he eat, would not care for any thing. 

The Greek adage was, I hate a bottle companion with a memo- 
ry. Proud people would no doubt hate a dinner companion, who 
remembered that he had dined with them upon an inferior dish. 
But it well became a book of devotional exercises, to display its 
authors humility in living, as well as in other respects. 

§ 10. When men are in perplexity, when the land is their 
enemy, and the sea the same, they shun the present moment as 
the greatest evil, and seek in the dark events of futurity a solace. 
Hence the great anxiety to pry into future events, arises from dis- 
satisfaction with regard to the affairs of the passing times being 
dark and difficult. 

Aristotle taught, that men of great genius were of a melancholy 
turn, and refers to Socrates, Plato, and Hercules, in proof of this 
opinion ; and we may refer to Dr. Johnson as one of the same 

§ 11. Cunning, artful men, who eke out the lion's skin and 
fox's tail, are less apt to be melancholy, than the really wise. 
When their power fails, they resort to stratagems, which wise men 
despise. But art, stratagem, and cunning, are better calculated 
to keep the world in a bustle, than sober wisdom. A constant 
excitement, even if it is caused by embarrassment, keeps the spirits 
alert. The talents of some persons are very peculiar, and are 
never displayed, except in helping themselves out of some kind 
of trouble and perplexity, into which they fall again the first con- 
venient opportunity. Such persons pass through life without 
learning any thing from experience. They evince some ability 
by getting out of a law suit, or evading the payment of a debt, but 
never by keeping clear of either debt or lawsuit. 

To recompense a fool, dame fortune gives success, 

But turns her back on those whom sense and merit bless. 


§ 12. In our inquiries after universal principles, we may refer 
to Dr. Johnson, who says, that there was no nation that has not 
used sacrifices. Perhaps some modern travellers would be able 
to adduce a few exceptions, but the vast extent of this religious 
feature of our race, is as surprising as it is difficult to be account- 
ed for. 

We are informed by M. Denon, in his Travels in Egypt, that 
the town of Antinoe, is supposed to have been built by Hadrian, 
and named after Antinous a young man of his suit. The empe- 
ror Hadrian having been taken sick at the place where the town 
now stands, the priest of the town of Besa, which stood in the 
same place, declared upon being consulted, that the patient would 
die, except some one devoted himself in his place. These priests, 
we are told, were then in high repute, and young Antinous, vol- 
untarily offered himself a sacrifice to save his master's life. 

But whence the universality of sacrifices 1 Does every one, or 
any one, feel in his own breast, that the death of a beast, or of 
a man, could mitigate his pain or save his own life ] We cannot 
possibly recognise such a feeling in our own breasts. 

We suspect that where this notion has arisen spontaneously, 
that it must have been founded upon theory. That as the human 
and brute races universally die, that it was conceived that death 
was acceptable to the gods, and that when they threatened to take 
the life of one person by sickness, that they would be satisfied if 
another died in his room ; and that if there was at a given period, 
so many deaths in the world, that it would satisfy the gods, with- 
out their being particular as to individuals. An opinion prevails 
in Italy, respecting fever, that there is a certain quantity of that 
disease in the world and no more ; and therefore that if one per- 
son sick with it can contrive to transfer it to another, that he him- 
self will recover. They therefore lay bunches of flowers on the 
sick, which his friends take in their hands and carry into the 
streets, and give away to the unknowing passers by. These 
bouquets may be called fever jloioers. 

§ 13. The greatest favor that we can do to others, is to do to 
them that, which, in our own conceptions, would most please us 
for them to do to ourselves. Upon this basis the institution of 


sacrifices seems to be founded. A sense of obligation, a feeling 
of dependence, a consciousness of our own inability, and of the 
potency of superior beings, leads to acts of propitiation. But 
mankind are prone to mistake, to overact, and to end in extremes. 
The excess, the overdoing of what was at first reasonable, rational, 
and merciful, is pushed beyond the limits of all justice and hu- 
manity, and ends in the most horrid barbarity. Such was the 
case and such were the acts, of those who sacrificed human be- 
ings, who offered innocent infants, upon the altars of idols, de- 
mons, and devils. Such were the Molochs and Druids of the Old 

Some one has said that men do not suspect faults that they do 
not commit. This is very erroneous. It would be making every 
man a thief, who suspected that he had had any thing stolen by 
others. But the world should not be told of faults which it has 
mended. There is with some an intemperate curiosity after un- 
profitable knowledge, however, still remaining. It shews itself in 
conveying little meaning in abundance of words, in praising, es- 
teeming, and extolling every thing that is done, let it be never so 
absurd, in London, or any where else, where there are a great 
many houses. 

We see persons whose vanity leads them to seek for examples, 
and to imitate with enthusiasm, a copiousness of charity, ill be- 
stowed ; a semblance of devotion, unfelt at all ; and a bodily imi- 
tation of piety, which the heart knows nothing about; all only 
because they can refer to something which has been done in a 
metropolis. Such persons neglect industry for teasing their neigh- 
bors ; they overlook charity at home, that they may have time to 
carry it abroad, where it is less needed ; and they omit judicious 
exertion, for what they think intellectual contemplation. 

§ 14. But some further remarks upon sacrifices occur to us 
here, in relation to that curious propensity in man, respecting 
vicarious suffering. This may in part have originated from ob- 
serving that fevers and other diseases, are sometimes contagious, 
and thus inferring that sins were transferable, like diseases. Lord 
Byron mentions a custom, by way of cautioning travellers from 
receiving bouquets from strangers in Italy. We do not adopt 
the hypothesis that fever can be thus communicated, as the Ital- 


ians think it can, by a bunch of flowers, and as Lord Byron 
seems to admit, and have only mentioned the subject to illustrate 
the obscure one of sacrifices. 

Moses was learned in all the knowledge of the Egyptians, and 
as this nation used sacrifices, the inference may have been drawn 
that he derived them from Egypt ; but they were used long ante- 
rior to Moses, and the Egyptians ; for the first religious acts upon 
record since the creation, and by the first-born of the first created 
pair were acts of sacrifice. And what is not a little curious is, 
that they appear by the Bible, and by Josephus, to have been 
spontaneous and voluntary acts, entered upon by Cain and Abel, 
without any previous command ! Upon this first religious act, of 
the two first born of all the human race, were all the ancient reli- 
gions founded. 

Soame Jenyns, in his Internal view of the Evidences of the 
Christian Religion, notices this mark and basis of all ancient reli- 
gions, and from it deduces the propriety and necessity of a sacri- 
fice, offered once for all, as a part of the new dispensation. We 
did, we must confess, feel some surprise at finding the incarnation 
identified with a custom adopted by savage nations, and by some 
of them so barbarously carried into practice; although, we es- 
teem Mr. Jenyns as a first rate writer upon Christianity. The 
abuse of a thing, we are however aware, is no argument against its 
proper use. And as to the antiquity and almost universal adop- 
tion of sacrifices, they are fully established by historians, both 
sacred and profane. 

Josephus speaks of sacrifices other than those which were usu- 
ally offered, which were appointed for the escaping of distem- 
pers,* but he gives no reasons, nor no conjectures, why sacrifices 
were instituted at first. A great and important work which he 
promised, in which the reasons for the Jewish laws, institutions, 
and ceremonies were all to be given, was never published by him, 
or never has come down to us — a deprivation which we cannot 
but feel with deep regret ; as his learning, his philosophical turn of 
mind, and his intimate acquaintance with the secret customs and 
opinions of his nation, would have made such a disquisition in- 
valuable. He would probably have given in that work, some 

* Antiq. B. 2, Chap. IX. 


further account of the pillar of salt, into which Lot's wife was 
changed, and which he tells us he had seen ;* as why it had last- 
ed so long, and where it was located, and whether, as Ireneeus 
states in the next century, it retained all the members of a human 
body entire. 

§ 15. Josephus was one of the most liberal minded Jews, of 
whom we have any account ; for when certain others of his na- 
tion were for using compulsion, and for circumcising certain 
strangers who came to reside amongst them, by force, he would 
not permit it. And it was on this occasion that he made that re- 
markable speech, very remarkable indeed, for the times in which he 
lived, and considering the nation to which he belonged. It was, 
that " Every man ought to worship God according to his own in- 
clinations, and not to be constrained by force ; and that these 
men, who had fled to us for protection, ought not to be so treated 
as to repent of their coming hither. "f His liberality of sentiment 
appears in his views of the meaning of certain parts of the Bible. 
He says, for instance, " Let no one blaspheme those gods which 
other cities esteem such ; nor may any one steal what belongs to 
strange temples, nor take away the gifts that are dedicated to any 
god."J This was true toleration and liberality. 

§ 16. Theological writers have differed in opinion, whether 
the miseries of human life ought, or ought not, to be imputed to 
Adam and Eve, and the serpent who led them into temptation. 
This question is not in reality of so much consequence as it has 
been made, and as it at first seems to be. That pain, disasters, 
and calamities, are endured, is undeniable ; nor are they either in- 
creased or mitigated, by being referred to Adam, or to any other 

Could the evils of life be lessened by referring them to their 
true source, the most laborious scrutiny ought to be instituted to 
discover it. But no one ever did, or ever will make such an as- 
sertion ; and if he did, it would be entirely destitute of truth or 
probability. The mode of decision is, therefore, of very trifling 

* Antiq. B. 1, Chap. XI. t Life, S. 23, p. 137. 

J Antiq. B.2, Chap. VIII. S. 10, founded on Exodus XXII, 28. 


consequence. The most difficult point to be decided, and the 
most of all others unaccountable, is, why the brute creation is 
subjected to pain and suffering. Now although a theory which 
could solve satisfactorily this perplexity, would be received with 
satisfaction, still, it is evident, that it would do nothing towards 
mitigating those miseries of animals, which often are so affecting 
and touching to sensibility. This subject is not then worth inves- 
tigating ; nor do we feel disposed to say much upon its bearings 
upon another important matter ; although we cannot but admire 
at the long and numerous treatises entered into in order to prove 
that suffering and death are the consequences of sin alone, when 
animals suffer both, without being accounted sinners. All sin, 
suffering and death, having been introduced into the world by 
Adam, would go to prove that animals either sin, or that they do 
not suffer, or that they are his descendants ; but neither of the 
three, ever has or ever will be affirmed. Disputing about the 
doctrine of original sin, is, therefore, a very useless subject of 
debate, notwithstanding that it has been made a very voluminous 

§ 17. Sins, vices, crimes, and misdemeanors, are the subjects 
which theology, ethics and jurisprudence, would prevent, if they 
could ; but when prevention cannot be had, punishment must 
ensue. He cannot, nor ought he to pass for a good member of 
society, who promulgates opinions derogatory to either of these, 
or who lifts his hand in prevention. We therefore, with caution, 
would advert to some opinions, which in our view are erroneous, 
because they stand so intimately connected with others which are 
praiseworthy, and unexceptionable. 

What is said by Josephus, respecting blaspheming those gods 
which others esteem such, can never be adduced against faith in 
one only true God, but it may, and ought to have a tendency to 
prevent one Christian sect from reviling or contemptuously ex- 
pressing itself about the tenets of another. We know that this is 
often done only in order to its effects upon what is supposed to be 
an erroneous principle ; but it often so happens, that the censure 
is applied to those that are free from the errors imputed to them. 
By shaking a superstructure too harshly, the foundation itself 


may be made to totter. By attempting only to root out the tares, 
the wheat may be trampled. It is best, therefore, to follow a good 
example, and to respect an excellent precept, rather than by aim- 
ing at what maybe erroneously called perfection, to hazard every 

§ 18. It is true morality ; it is indeed the only method of in- 
suring excellence, a safe and a permanent abode on earth, to 
award the meed of praise to whatever, and to whoever is praise- 
worthy, let the emanation come from whatever source or quarter 
it may. It is by a contrary conduct, it is by elevating what has 
no intrinsic value, only because it comes from our sect, or our 
party, and by depressing what is truly estimable, when it eman- 
ates from any other origin, that the progress of improvement has 
been retarded. 

Whether sermon, oration, pamphlet, newspaper or "speech, 
affords an excellent sentiment or sentence, it ought not to be over- 
looked, let its author be of whatever denomination he may. 
Whenever every thing is said, in relation to any point that can be 
said with propriety, when there is no redundancy, nor no ambi- 
guity, nor no deficiency, nor monotony, it amounts to perfection, 
at least so far as man can perceive, or mortals penetrate. 

The following from Bishop Beveridge, appears to approach, if 
not to reach this point. I am. " He doth not say, I am their 
light, their life, their guide, their strength, or tower, but only 
' I am.' He sets as it were his hand to a blank, that his people 
may write under it what they please that is good for them. As 
if he should say, Are they weak X lam strength. Are they 
poor 1 I am riches. Are they in trouble 1 I am comfort. Are 
they sick 1 I am health. Are they dying % I am life. Have 
they nothing 1 I am all things. lam wisdom and power. / am 
justice and mercy. / am grace and goodness. / am glory, 
beauty, holiness, eminency, super-eminency, perfection, all-suffi- 
ciency, eternity. Jehovah, / am. Whatsoever is suitable to 
their nature, or convenient for them in their several conditions, 
that I am. Whatsoever is amiable in itself, or desirable unto 
them, that / am, Whatsoever is pure and holy ; whatsoever is 


great or pleasant ; whatsoever is good or needful to make men 
happy, that / «?«."* 

§ 19. It is the taste of the people, which alone is competent 
to compel authors and writers to deal them out excellent senti- 
ments, in fine style. If these ; if the editors of newspapers and 
other periodicals, find that the towns people will be satisfied with 
husks, they will feed them upon nothing else. Novel-writers, 
and the manufacturers of tales and stories, have done as Addison 
did in the Spectator, with respect to the fair sex, exhausted the 
subject. Lord Chesterfield observed, that a good joke makes us 
laugh, but that a bad one makes us laugh still more. This dis- 
covery seems to have been pretty highly appreciated by certain 
writers, both at home and abroad, by their great number of bad 
jokes. With a bad heart and a bad book, a state of war is better 
than a state of peace. 

§ 20. It has been said that all is fair in politics ; and although 
it might be difficult to mantain such an opinion, in the abstract, 
yet a good effect would ensue amongst friends, to take such a 
view of the subject ; there being no subject that is so apt to mar 
friendship, as political discussions. It would be, therefore, best 
for friends, to either avoid politics entirely, or to consider all fair 
that relates to them, which would do away all harsh and acrimo- 
nious feelings. But politicians, perhaps, know their own inter- 
ests better than we can tell them. Addison describes a peaceable 
lawyer, as eating once a day, and dancing once a year ;f and 
politicians would probably consider themselves in the same pre- 
dicament, were they to follow peace with all men. 

Dr. Franklin seemed to think that vast discoveries were likely 
to be made in physical science, with which moral science would 
not keep pace. He even anticipated, in his fervid imagination, 
that the time would come, when all diseases might be cured, and 
life prolonged to the antediluvian age, and even at pleasure, which 
would embrace of course, the cure of what is now called old 

* See the word Am, in that excellent work, Richardson's Dictionary. 

t Spectator, No. 21. 

t See his letter to Dr. Priestly. 


§ 21. We were amused with a new method for the cure of 
fever, which we somewhere saw, invented by the patient himself. 
This patient was Frederick Augustus, nephew to Frederick the 
Great, king of Prussia ; who being seized with a violent fever, 
from which he suspected that his recovery might be long, if it did 
not carry him off, put his plan in practice upon himself, as it be- 
hoves every one to do, who is inclined to make a doubtful experi- 
ment, in which life is concerned. Whether when this method is 
adopted, it will be one of the modes of lengthening life, and of 
realizing Franklin's surmise, we cannot tell; we not haviiif had 
a call as yet, although we have had a great many patients with 
fevers, in which we saw fit to adopt it. 

The idea of the young prince of Prussia was, that if he could, 
by laughing, produce a free perspiration upon himself, that he 
should recover. To bring this about, he purchased as many 
copies of a pathetic German tragedy, as the play contained char- 
acters. He distributed to his servants the character that each was 
to act in the copy which was put into his hands. Among these 
servants were some who could scarce read at all. The blunders, 
the awkwardness, and the distress of these new actors, notwith- 
standing the pain he was in, caused him to laugh so immoderate- 
ly, that a copious sweat was the consequence, so that the next 
day he was entirely recovered.* 

§ 22. A wealthy gentleman at the South, invented a mode of 
relieving his ennui, hypochondriacism, and lowness of spirits, by 
chano-inff his dress a number of times in the day. This method 
was approbated by Dr. Rush, but in our view the practice might 
be altered for the better. The effect calculated to relieve the 
tedium, would be chiefly confined to the exercise connected with 
changing the apparel. Now, our change in prescription, would 
consist in advising our patient to procure a great number of fine 
new dresses for his wife, and to renew them as often as the fash- 
ions changed ; by which means his attention would be diverted 
by the sight of his wife in her new dresses ; and a greater portion 
of exercise ensured, by his purchasing them for her, as often as 
the fashions changed. 

* Anecdotes of Frederick the Great. 


§ 23. There is no absolute certainty that a man's judgment 
is bad, because it does not coincide with our own, or that his taste 
is bad, because he does not admire what we think admirable ; and 
yet what vast subjects of contention have these matters afforded 1 
There are some points that all will at once agree in, as that a 
lady's glove should be soft, and a gentleman's razor sharp ; but 
after this, an endless dispute might ensue, as to what color the 
former, and what weight the latter ought to be of. Such, and all 
similar matters, ought to be touched as the blossom of the orange 
tree departs from its native bough, and touches the grass, lightly 
and without noise. 

§ 24. There is as much difference between a man of letters 
and an ignorant man, as there is betwixt a man that is alive, and 
another that is dead. A man who knows no more about a clock, 
than to tell the time of day denoted on the dial plate, would dis- 
play his consummate folly, by pretending to dictate or dispute 
,with the mechanic who made and put together the internal ma- 
chinery ; yet we have abundance of such cavilers upon religious 
matters, who dispute with as much asperity, ministers, doctors, 
divines, deacons, and duties, as if they could dispute their way to 
heaven, by driving them out of the direct road that leads to it. 

§ 25. But if it be called an act of omnipotence, to make 
men and members of one house, of one and the same identical 
mind, we cannot so much wonder at the vast variety of opinions 
in a town, a city, a province, or a kingdom. Even the same man, 
upon the same subject, is not always of the same mind ; for as 
music depends upon the chords of an instrument, which may be 
tight or loose, so mind depends on matter, which in the human 
frame may be in the ascendant, or in the depressive, healthy or 

§ 26. We cannot dispute ourselves into heaven, but we may 
dispute so long that its gates may be shut, admittance denied, and 
we ourselves thrust out, or rather kept out, in outer darkness. 

It is a curious fact, and one worthy of notice by all who would 
view mankind as Jews, Christians, Mahomedans, or pagans ; 


who would view, in fact, the human race with or without God in 
the world, that all religionists are kind to those who have no reli- 
gion at all, and unkind to those who have religion, and dissent 
differ, or disagree in the least point, with themselves. A pious 
brother who is not precisely of the same creed as that of the 
church to which he belongs, let him have his lamps trimmed and 
burning, let him lie on his oars, let him be ready to depart this 
life at a moment's warning, let him despair of distinction, of 
every thing but disapprobation and disaster here. It is thus that 
practical religion stands no chance with doctrinal. 

Of the ancient philosophers, no one went over to his opponent, 
although controversies were carried on so long as tongues or the 
breath of life remained. 

Some professors have led the world to suspect that their good- 
ness was put forth and practised as a bait, a decoy, a lure for ap- 
plause, which having missed, they felt as though they had labour- 
ed in vain. 

§ 27. The application of water has, as to the manner in 
which it is to be applied, caused most acrimonious disputes. In 
Mahomedan countries, whether the fore arm, or arm from the 
hand to the elbow, is to be baptized, by pouring the water from 
the wrist upwards, or from the elbow downwards, has separated 
Persia from the other Mahomedans, and caused bitter bickerings, 
and hostile heart-burnings. In Christian countries, whether the 
whole body should be immersed, or the face only be sprinkled, 
has occasioned no small dissension. Controversies will be forever 
continued, though no converts should ever be made. But after 
all, he who is candid will admit, that there must needs be a power- 
ful efficacy in that religion which has done more for the ignorant 
and unlearned, than the learned and the philosophic could ever 
do for themselves ; and such is Christianity. 

§ 28. It would be violating the spirit of a law, not to violate 
its letter in favor of great men and great villains. We ought to 
imitate Buonaparte in disbelieving history, when its pages dis- 
grace human nature, if we can ; but it seems to establish the 
position that human sacrifices were offered by many nations of 


antiquity. The Phoenicians and Druids, the Gauls and Cartha- 
ginians, were guilty in this respect— guilty of what Abraham 
went about, but whose hand was stayed, when he went to offer up 
his son Isaac. Sacred history also confirms this point, as we 
read in the Bible, as follows : " Yea, they sacrificed their sons 
and their daughters unto devils." This is spoken of the ancient 
inhabitants of Canaan, and of the Jews, who imitated their exam- 
ples afterwards. And again it is said, " They have built also the 
high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire, for burnt offer- 
ings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither 
came it into my mind." Even the Greeks and Romans cannot 
be fully exculpated from having occasionally offered human sacri- 
fices. The sacrifices of the Romans, do not appear to have been 
derived from the Jews, as the Romans did not omit offering swine, 
which were prohibited by the Jewish laws.* 

§ 29. Things are viewed very differently when they are seen 
through the prism of happiness, or when seen when the head is 
covered with ashes, and the body with sackcloth. Ambition is 
ever ready to take any road which leads to preferment. It will 
mask itself in the mask of piety, it will practice the most degra- 
ding or cruel superstitions, it will be devout, warlike, or gallant, 
as occasions require. It will pay court to the muses, to the mass, 
or to Mars. In chivalrous, or feudal times, fighting for the king, 
and pleasing the ladies, were two points of the utmost import- 
ance. Heaven is sought and served with much ardor, and brave- 
ry practised with much punctilio, when it is thought that no 
cowards can get to heaven, nor be esteemed on earth. 

Since the reformation, and since the invention of printing, the 
movements of men have of necessity been more precise, more 
analytic, more shaded with the pale cast of thought, and much 
more calculated to diffuse equality of rights, and to prostrate cru- 
elty and tyranny than before. 

§ 30. The human mind is so constituted that it can bear only 
a certain proportion of misery at once ; hence a new disaster 
crowds out an old calamity ; like a hollow cylinder filled with 

* See Plutarch's Life of Fabius Maximus. Lives, Vol. 2. p. 6. 


balls, if a new ball is introduced at one end, it will crowd out one 
at its opposite end. 

§ 31. Indians, when extremely fatigued, will pick up a stick 
and cany it a distance upon their shoulder, when upon throwing 
it down they feel relieved, and continue their journey with less 

§ 32. Itch has afforded relief to low spirits, by taking off the 
constant contemplation of an imaginary disease, and assua^inc 
the fear of death. Persons have been inoculated with this erup- 
tive disorder, in order to cure them of insanity. 

§ 33. An invalid who was advised to go to a town where there 
were a great many learned men, said he would not go, and that 
he had rather be where there were no philosophers, but only such 
persons as believed that the sun rolled round the earth. 

A man who was cured of that kind of madness which elevates 
the mind to such a pitch of importance, as to make its owner 
fancy himself a king, overflowing with wealth, protested to his 
physician that he had ruined him of all his comfort and enjoy- 
ment by curing him. 

Money, which answers such a vast variety of purposes, has 
been used to hire a person into health. A gentleman cured his 
wife, who was always complaining, by giving her a dollar a day 
for every day that she did not complain. If she uttered any 
complaint, her wages were stopped for that day. 

If theatres and operas have had any good effect, it has rather 
been bodily than mental. Go to the opera to digest, said Vol- 
taire. Laugh and be fat, is an old adage ; and no doubt laugh- 
ter has contributed to prolong life and to cure diseases. 

§ 34. An ancient philosopher, after the discussion of the sub- 
ject, whether brutes had reason, comes to the decision that they 
had not, because they have no idea of a Deity. It seems to have 
been an ancient opinion, that such an idea among mankind was 
universal, which the moderns do not find verified, some nations 
having no notions of a Supreme Being. 


§ 35. He makes a happy exchange in his condition of life, 
who retires from politics, not to the turf, hut to the plough ; for 
he will find his horses and oxen more grateful and more manage- 
able, than his constituents. 

Peace is located in the heart, it does not depend upon the order 
of the house, nor the state of the nation. A pacific disposition is 
always commendable, except when it amounts to pusilanimity. 

Some people recommend books to others, of whose practical 
effects on themselves, those who recommend them, shew very little 
evidence. We find ourselves in fashionable circles, who make 
pretensions to high intellectual standing, but who, for any thing 
they exhibit, either by speech or action, might have lived in a 
world where no such characters as Johnson, or Milton, or Addi- 
son, or Shakspeare, ever wrote. But if omissions, commissions, 
and deductions can boast of being nobly allied, they slip along the 
smooth path of companionable hours, without aiming at any 
higher mark. 

Amongst a people who live beneath the levelling principle, the 
sound is never heard of — " Sir, you have saved a life, a character, 
a country." All republicans consider themselves too much upon 
an equality to admit any such superiority. 

To cunning men, some plaudits may be awarded, provided the 
applauder can take the praise of having made the grand discov- 
ery himself, that he whom he praises, is more than any body else 
has ever thought him to be. A piece of nothingness is the pro- 
logue and epilogue of certain persons whose bodies are adorned, 
but whose minds are as barren as the deserts of Arabia. Subtilty, 
cunning, and nihility, have the same advantage as the feline sort 
of animals ; throw them which way you will, they always light on 
their feet. 

§ 36. Those who have had health and long life, have neither 
lived too sparing, nor too full, nor been overburdened with cares, 
nor business, nor labor, nor yet remiss in exercise and assiduity. 
It is such persons who can say to themselves as Pope Ganganelli 
did to his stomach, when it inclined to be sick, that he had no 
leisure to attend to it, and like his stomach their cares will leave 



them in quiet. Small diseases, like small children, too much 
pampered, become great troubles. 

Some persons never seem to blossom, and thus display the 
flowers and sweets of life. They have the bark and prickles of 
shrubs outside, and the bitterness of wormwood within. From 
such people it is always best to hurry off as fast as possible, for 
fear of being scratched, and without speaking a word, for fear of 
being contradicted. 

Tempests show the face of heaven more bright, as thorns and 
briers make flowers look more agreeably. 

§ 37. Public spirit, patriotism, and purity of morals, are all 
more apparent in the country, than in cities and capitals ; the 
reason may be, that in the country property is more secure, and 
attachment to a local habitation, more decided. A bleak and 
barren rock, securely possessed, will be furnished with a fertile 
bed of soil, and converted into a garden ; whilst Eden itself, held 
only by the tenure of a lease, would become a desert. There is 
more grovelling servility on the one hand, and more lawless resist- 
ance on the other, in cities than in country places. Cities abound 
with more desperate, unprincipled characters, than country pla- 
ces, which the divine and the moralist, although more highly 
gifted with talents perhaps, than those in the country, cannot re- 
form. Those who think It a great misfortune to be alone, who 
feel solitude irksome, and sigh for a city life, are often those very 
characters, who ought to be intercepted by a sanitary cordon, as 
they approach cities, and kept out, and driven away, like an in- 
fectious and pestilential distemper. They are often worthless 
knaves, seeking the dregs of worthlessness, as fit companions for 
themselves in a city, and which they cannot find in the country. 

§ 38. The air, or weather is hot, when the thermometer stands 
at 83°, it is very hot at 90°, and at 98° to 102° is at blood heat. It 
is cold when the thermometer is at 40% and freezing cold at 32", 
but not esteemed severely cold until the mercury sinks to zero. 
In New England, and in the northern parts of New York, it 
sometimes sinks to 10°, 20°, and even lower than 20° below zero. 
The French and English soldiers in Egypt, were subjected to a 


heat of 116", which in them, sometimes caused a bleeding from 
the lungs. The sudden effects of heat is the coup de solid, or 
sun-stroke, which resembles apoplexy. In China, in the year 
1743, in July, many persons were destroyed by heat. Heat pro- 
duces freckles, which suddenly occur, but yet, sometimes become 
permanent. Colds are more to be dreaded in summer, than in 

The sun, which changes the whole complexion to a darker hue, 
which is called tanning, does not produce such a change upon 
those, who from their business are constantly exposed to heat ; 
such as blacksmiths and cooks. Heat has its greatest effects after 
cold ; hence the multiplicity of conceptions in March and May. 
The Russians use the warm bath, and immediately afterwards 
roll themselves in snow, and the Indians practice a similar transi- 
tion, and both with impunity ; but with those Indians who have 
adopted the customs of the whites, it has lost its efficacy. Heat 
is not considered a cause of diseases between the tropics. 

Dr. Rush inclined to give credence to the opinion, that a green 
Christmas makes a fat churchyard. Dampness is more to be 
dreaded than extreme cold. Damp sheets, an unaired shirt, a 
wet coat, and wet stockings, have cost many persons their lives. 
The reason is, that the system does not react under such partial 
applications ; whereas, when the who^e frame is attacked by ex- 
treme cold, its energies are excited, Its heating propensities in- 
creased, and the mental powers stimulated, to throw it off. So 
extremely at variance are things seemingly similar. A little kills, 
a great deal cures, and vice versa. 

It is a curious fact that children seldom complain of cold, but 
are bitter sufferers by heat. We often see an infant throw out of 
bed its naked arms, and throw off its bed clothes, but never do we 
see it pulling on a coverlit, or putting on an extra garment, unless 
it is bidden. Old people, on the contrary, are the greatest suffer- 
ers by cold. The African race, also, who are natives of sandy, 
sun burning regions, are great sufferers by frosty weather. 

Human nature has been more honored in hot, than in cold 
climates. Asia, Eden, Egypt, and Greece, where man was first 
known, and where his genius was first matured, are warm re- 
gions. But victory, on the contrary, proceeds from the cold 


regions of the north. It travels from towards the poles, into 
countries lying in temperate climes. Buonaparte easily conquer- 
ed Italy, but he failed when he directed his army of 850,000 men 
into the colds of Russia. Victory cannot travel from the tropics 
into the arctic regions, on account of the cold. The savage 
hordes who overran Rome, Gaul and Spain, came from the north. 
Rejoicing in the mildness of the air, the sweetness of the fruits, 
and finding out their own superiority in bearing cold and hunger, 
their conquest was but a feast for themselves, and a sacrifice of 
their opponents. 

Neatness and cleanliness were discoveries made, and virtues 
practised by the inhabitants of warm climates, experience having 
taught them the ill effects of filth of all kinds upon their health. 

Cold water is a powerful stimulant, when thrown on the face of 
a fainting person, and the cold bath and cool air increase strength 
in the invalid. 

That dampness is more destructive to health than a cold 
ducking, is remarkably exemplified in Cuba, where persons who 
get a partial wetting, throw themselves into the first stream they 
come to, and thus wet themselves all over, and prevent taking 

Pouring cold water into the sleeve of a person, with the arm 
held up, gives great pain or suffering, and is one of the means of 
punishment resorted to in the prisons of Philadelphia. 

Diseases attack more frequently in the night than in the day 
time, because the nights are colder than the days. It is better to 
defend the body against the cold by warm clothing, and warm 
houses, than to try to harden it so as to bear up against inclement 
winters and weather ; for if this is done in winter, it will be un- 
done by the heat of summer, and the hardening process must be 
repeated every cold season. So far, as the sensible qualities of 
the air are concerned, cold is the most prolific cause of ill health. 
Still, it is a mistaken idea that colds or catarrhs, produced by 
catching cold, are the source of consumption. This alarming 
disease, is hereditary to the English nation, and from them, their 
American descendants received it, and not from the cold climate, 
for the Germans, who are equally exposed to all changes of 
weather, are far less subject to consumption than the English, 


when both together inhabit America. It is also hereditary in 

A person's health is never hurt by wearing too many clothes, 
but many yearly lose their lives by wearing too few. In our vari- 
able climate, persons must submit to secure their health by wear- 
ing more clothes than are agreeable. During severe exercise, 
the raiment may be lightened to what is comfortable, but after 
exertion is over, it must be increased somewhat beyond, or else 
the health is endangered. 

That the atmosphere is but an aerial circle around the earth, 
is proved from its being lost at no great distance above us. The 
atmospheric pressure is that which keeps man together ; let him 
ascend above it, and his blood vessels burst. 

Chimborazo is 20,000 feet only in height, which is considerably 
less than four miles, and yet, the air upon the top of it, is too light 
for life, in its full vigour. The Baron Humboldt ascended this 
mountain, but he bled from his lungs in consequence of the light 
cold air, and the lack of atmospheric pressure, and the warmth 
of the steam and vapours of the air, lower down. Thus we see, 
that in Effypt, extreme heat caused bleeding from the lungs, and 
upon high mountains, extreme cold and light air, have the same 
effect. This is easily explained upon the principles of anatomy, 
aided by physiology. Common salt is a useful remedy for bleed- 
ing from the lungs.* 

Warm countries are not unhealthy when they are dry and 
clean. It is moisture, miasm, and want of clean streets, and 
clean houses, that make warm countries sickly. The Spaniards 
shut up their windows and doors to keep out the heat, whilst the 
English open them to let in the air. The former keep in their 
houses in order to avoid the rays of the sun, and they have a 
proverb that there is nothing to be seen in the streets but English- 
men and dogs. 

Mankind are not so prolific in countries very hot or very cold, 

as in those that are temperate. 

Fish are the only part of the animal creation that are most 
abundant in cold regions. In the rivers and seas of the north, 

* It is believed that those who use freely of salt with their food, are less liable 
to consumption than others who use it but sparingly. 


the abundance of fish is truly surprising. The waters more 
southerly, are supplied by their migratory propensities. Herring 
travel south in the spring, and north in the autumn, directly the 
reverse of wild geese. 

A remarkable effect of the absence of atmospheric pressure 
was noticed by the Baron Humboldt upon Chimborazo. The 
snow that fell upon that mountain, was so light that a stone fell 
through it just as though it had been water. 

Wind increases the power of cold. A high wind gives no op- 
portunity for the air surrounding the men and animals, to become 
a little warmed by the warmth of their bodies. It is chanoinff 

f 6 8 

every instant, for a current which may perhaps have its source in 
Nova Zembla ; and although it may make no difference in the 
thermometer, by blowing high, it does make a difference in the 
health of men and women. The latter especially are more liable 
to become sick in stormy weather with high wind. 

June is the healthiest month, there being then neither great 
heat nor cold, nor winds, nor rains ; besides, the diseases of win- 
ter are past, and those of the hot season not begun. 

Heavy rains and high winds may be succeeded by sickness, 
owing to their breaking the scum upon stagnant waters, and 
letting out pestiferous gases. But a contrary effect is not seldom 
produced by them, which is owing to the blowing away of bad air, 
and the washing of streets from bad materials. The livers of 
men and of animals, are most apt to show the effects of bad air, bad 
aliments, and bad drinks. The old Romans examined the livers 
of the brute creation in order to find out whether certain tracts of 
country were healthy for man. If the liver was enlarged, or 
otherwise diseased, the region was pronounced not salubrious. 
Heat affects the liver, cold affects the lungs. Hence fevers in hot 
seasons and coughs in cold ones. 

Sudden mixtures of troops from all parts of the United States, 
may so contaminate the air as to occasion sickness and mortality 
in even cold weather. Mortal fevers prevailed in the extremely 
cold winters of 1812, 1813, and 1814, from this cause, during our 
war with Great Britain. 

§ 39. The seeds of fever may lie in the human system for a 
long time, without sprouting. They may then spring up and 


prostrate a person upon a sick bed. The ague and fever, or in- 
termittent fever, is one of those kind of diseases. We have 
known several persons who came from fever and ague countries, 
into parts of the country where that disease was unknown, and 
after a residence there of six months, and in one instance of twelve 
months, they were attacked, although they had escaped whilst in 
the ague district. And that they had retained the seeds of the 
disease thus long in their blood, was proved by no other person 
having it except those who had been in fever and ague districts. 
Washerwomen contract fevers from heaps of clothes thrust into 
bags or baskets ; a thing that ought not to be done. A fever has 
been taken by a person putting the stocking of another person 
about his neck, who had had a fever. 

Persons may get so accustomed to their own bad air that it will 
not poison them, but will kill others who come suddenly in con- 
tact or contiguity with them. A very destructive instance of this 
kind occurred in England. A bookseller was imprisoned for 
publishing a seditious libel. From some neglect his clothes had 
become impregnated with destructive miasma, so that when he 
was brought into court to be tried, a great number of the persons 
present were made sick, and three hundred of the number were so 
seriously ill, that they died, in the course of perhaps two or three 
weeks. And of those friends, visitors, and attendants who Avere 
about the latter, many sickened, and two hundred of the number 
died ; making no less than five hundred deaths in the whole.* 
And it is not a little astonishing, that in this instance, that there 
seemed to be something of a sexual stamp upon this poisonous 
exhalation. It first emanated, as we have seen, from a man, and 
all those who died were men, it not carrying off a single woman ! 
We do not know that there is a parallel instance on record ; the 
nearest approach to it being a kind of nationality in some fevers. 
The sweating sickness, which proved very fatal to the English, 
in the reign of Henry VII. was confined to the English people ; 
those of other nations not having it when they were in the same 
city, and Englishmen having it abroad, in cities where it invaded 
no one else but the English, or their descendants. 

* Dr. Rush. 


As the Jews are a distinct people, they have been known to 
escape epidemics when those of other nations were suffering from 
them. We have learned that the Swiss once had a fever, which 
did not affect either French or Germans in the same town. 

In the town of Derby, state of Connecticut, in 1795, a disease 
prevailed resembling scarlet fever, which carried off the bovs, 
but did not invade the female children. 

The same disease sometimes affects the members of the same 
family, even when they live at a distance apart. 

Flies are very abundant in some sickly seasons, but in Phila- 
delphia, when in one instance the yellow fever visited that city, 
the flies all disappeared. 

§ 40. Benjamin Lay, of Philadelphia, attempted to fast forty 
days, but could not complete the whole time. He visited a friend 
during the period of his fast, and this friend found his breath so 
extremely offensive and acrimonious, that it drew tears from his 
eyes. It is impossible for a fast of this great length to be sustain- 
ed in this country, unless by a long and previous training. Gradu- 
al approaches must be made, from bread and water, down to a 
handful of barley-corns a day, and this handful must be diminish- 
ed by one at a time, every day, till only one barley-corn is taken, 
the day preceding the commencement of total abstinence. By 
this painful process it is possible that a person might at length fast 
for the period of forty days ; but what would be its use or utility 1 
It would at best be but imitating an example which we are no 
where commanded to imitate, and which does not appear to have 
been designed for man to attempt. 

In the deserts of Africa and Arabia, fasting may be easier en- 
dured than in America. The reason is, that the air in those 
arid regions, finds no water, nor vegetables, and but few animals, 
to impart its vital principles to. Its oxygen is more abundant, 
therefore, and more enlivening, more life supporting, and exhile- 
rating. The inhalations of the sustaining principle of life, is 
there received in a greater proportion by breathing, and in a less 
proportion by eating. Indians, who live irregularly, sometimes 
fasting and sometimes gormandising, are more active than the 
whites, but do not excel them in strength. The lion and tiger are 


sometimes, like all beasts and birds of prey, empty, and at other 
times over distended. Lions kept in a menagerie, require twenty 
pounds of meat a day, and are uneasy with a less quantity. 

The publications of Dr. Cheyne, had some influence in their 
day, to induce people to live wholly upon vegetables and fruit. 
Morality, as well as health, was supposed by him to be aided by 
this mode of living. But there is some downright doubts to be 
met upon both these points. The first pair were led into tempta- 
tion by a vegetable production, and fell without the influence of 
animal food. Besides, the two first offerings, by the two first born 
of mankind, were the one, of the first fruits of the earth, and the 
other, of the firstlings of the animal flock; and whilst the latter 
was respected by the Divinity, the former was not ! And as to 
health, it is worthy of all consideration, that autumns which 
abound in fruit, are proverbially sickly ; but healthy autumns 
abound with fresh meat. 

Habit is every thing, and cannot be suddenly changed. The 
ancient Scots ate but once a day, and then but sparingly ; whilst 
the members of Congress, who make hearty and late breakfasts, 
are injured in their healths, by not having their dinners till three 
o'clock. We have the case of a man who lived thirty days upon 
vegetable food, who fainted at the smell of animal diet ; and of a 
young physician, who after fasting entirely for three days, was 
intoxicated by animal broth, and but a small quantity of that was 

§ 41. Birds eat certain vegetable matters, which communicate 
to them a quality which is poisonous to those persons who after- 
wards eat the bird, but by which the bird's health is not injured. 
The pheasant, or partridge, (tetrao umbellus,) feeds upon the buds 
of the broad leafed laurel, (kalmia latifolia,) with impunity ; but 
persons have lost their lives by afterwards eating of these birds. 
It is worthy of notice, that a physician came near losing his life 
by a dinner upon the pheasant, whilst his wife and daughter who 
dined with him upon the same bird, experienced no inconve- 
nience. This was accounted for by his observing, that he ate the 
black meat, whilst his wife and daughter partook only of the breast 
and winws. This black meat lies in contact or in contiguity with 


the intestines of the bird, which is thereby more exposed to the im- 
pregnation of the poison. 

Sixty boys at Princeton, N. J. were taken sick in one night, 
from having all eaten of pot-pie made of pigeons, which had fed 
on poke, or pigeon berries, (phytollaca decandria.) 

§ 42. If tea is ever injurious, it is certainly but seldom so. It 
appears to be that kind of stimulus that is exactly adapted to the 
female constitution, and to preserve them healthy and sprightly. 
If it injures at all, the ill effects are felt in the nerves. Coffee 
sometimes injures both the brain and nerves, occasioning 
trembling at the stomach, and is to be avoided by those who have 
palpitations at the heart, vertigo, or giddiness. Wine causes the 
gout, which is as rare in those who drink distilled spirits, as in 
those who drink water only. Mahometans, who drink no wine, 
do not have the gout, nor does that disease appear to be known 
amongst them. Cider produces the rheumatism. Vinegar is 
wholesome, because it is always used temperately. We have 
heard of an instance of sudden death, from a person accidentally, 
or by mistake, having drank a pint of it at once, however. Cold 
water, drank when the body is heated, has suddenly caused death. 
It does this, by producing a cramp or spasm upon the stomach, 
which is extended to the heart, and stops its beating ; for cramp of 
the stomach alone, can be borne to any extent as to time and vio- 
lence, without suddenly proving fatal. A pill of morphine is the 
remedy, one eighth of a grain. 

Curious facts, and such as are void of all analogical deduction, 
or symmetry of reason, surprise us in the animal and vegetable 
creations. Such as that carbonic acid gas is both pleasant and 
salutary to the stomach, but suddenly kills by being breathed in- 
to the lungs ; and that one part of a plant is esculent, whilst an- 
other part will destroy life. The potatoe belongs to an order of 
plants, (solane?n,) of which the deadly nightshade is one ; yet the 
potatoe itself is one of the most healthy kinds of food. 

§ 43. The dress of health, is always to dress warm enough. 
It is better to err by dressing too warm than too cool. There is 
no harm from too many clothes as to health, but every ill proceeds 



from taking cold by wearing too few clothes. Comfort may be 
marred by too many garments, or those that are too warm, but 
such a dress produces neither consumption, gout, nor asthma ; 
but it truly sometimes produces laziness. 

People in this country imitate the dress of the people of France 
and England, which pride never makes either too hot or too cold. 
But health and pride hold different kinds of language. Persons 
never ought to dress tight about the chest, by tight lacing or stays, 
as there is danger of its producing bleeding from the lungs, and 
laying the foundation of consumption. Ladies and dandies, be- 
ware of jumps. 

§ 44. We have seen the sesophagus, or meat pipe of a boy, 
with a halfpenny inside of it, in a kind of bag or cyst. This 
halfpenny was swallowed when the boy was a child, it stuck in 
the passage edgewise, and became encysted, or covered over with 
a thin skin, and whilst it thus remained, it did no harm to his 
health. But when he arrived to the age of seventeen, this pellicle, 
which covered the copper coin, broke, and as the metal had be- 
come corroded by the fluids, a kind of poisonous verdigris had 
formed in the sac, which passed into his stomach, and poisoned 
him to death. He died in 1810, and was attended by Drs. Rush 
and Dorsey, at Philadelphia. He came from Ireland, and it was 
there that he swallowed the halfpenny. The Duke of Sully re- 
ceived a wound in battle, into which some grains of gunpowder 
were lodged. Eighteen years afterwards some of this powder 
was extracted from the spot, and it is remarkable that it flashed 
like powder which had been recently made. 

§ 45. Exercise is necessary for people who live freely upon 
animal food, but sedentary persons may live so abstemiously as 
not to be injured, especially if they make it a rule to stand up 
whilst they read and write. Mechanics who carry on their trades 
within doors, such as jewellers, shoemakers, and tailors, ought to 
work standing, at least one half the day. 

We have an account of a certain gamester, who spent two 
days and two nights at the gaming table, without rising. We 
should suspect that he gambled away his health, if not his money. 


A foolish Dutchman took it into his head that sleep was the 
natural state of man. He therefore concluded that be would 
spend his life in sleep, which he mostly did, till he went mad and 
died. Of all the classes of mechanics, carpenters appear to be 
the longest lived. Lawyers are usually healthy, and of the pro- 
fessions, as a general rule, perhaps live the longest. They are 
not so much exposed as physicians, to the weather, nor to the de- 
pressing passions, as ministers. 

Attendance on theatres disposes to nervous diseases, and does 
not in fact tend much to morality, or practically to soften the 
heart. Ladies may be seen weeping at a tragedy, who will omit 
to pay their servants their wages, whose bread may depend upon 
the pittance which they have earned, and drive a beggar empty 
away from their doors. We have learned that the very night 
after the news of the theatre having been burned at Richmond, 
arrived in Philadelphia, that the theatre in the latter city was 
crowded to overflowing ; and that many applicants had to depart 
for the want of seats ; although by that calamity, the Governor of 
the state of Virginia, and a great number of other persons, ladies 
as well as gentlemen, lost their lives. 

§ 46. Of hereditary diseases, it has been noticed that con- 
sumption is most apt to be transmitted from the father; especial- 
ly when the eyes, and forehead, and chest, resemble those of 
that parent. Madness and scrophula, are derived from the 
mother ; and sometimes phthisic also. We have remarked of 
hereditary diseases, that they often show themselves in children 
first, and afterwards in the parent from whom they were inherited. 

§ 47. Dr. Rush made a remark many years ago very credit- 
able to New England, but which it is feared is not sustained by 
the present generation. It was, that quack doctors could never 
support themselves there, owing to the general diffusion of knowl- 
edge among all classes. 

§ 48. The desire of progeny is a deep seated principle, but 
strongest in women. Give me children or else I die, was uttered 
by one of the sex in remote antiquity ; and this same woman died 


in childbed with her second child. We have seen a notice of a 
woman in genteel life, who upon seeing a beggar woman in a 
family way, declared that she would exchange situations in life, 
and circumstances with her, if she could thereby be in the same 


§ 49. Very tall persons, nor dwarfs, do not usually arrive at 
old,, or at least to very old age. It is however said that a certain 
dwarf, who was brought to England by George II. lived to the age 
of eighty. George III., who was a seven montRs child, lived to 
old age, and reigned a space of time unparalleled ; no less than 
sixty years. He was the grandson of George II. 

More depends upon air than upon aliment in protracting life. 
The same air which at this instant is entering our lungs, may have 
once entered the lungs of an Esquimaux, or a Seminole, a Lap- 
lander, or an African. But the world is so large, its oceans so 
vast, its deserts so broad, and its atmosphere so high, that there is 
little danger of a general contamination of the air, so as to make 
it like that of a sick room, in which the sick person is extremely 
incommoded by too many people crowding, as they destroy the 
oxygen, or vital principle of the air, and thus add to the aggrava- 
tion of maladies, especially of those which are febrile. The near- 
est affinity which the world bears to a sick room, is in that vast 
epidemic called influenza, which has travelled from Asia to 
Europe, and from Europe to America. 

§ 50. Nothing shocks an American ear more poignantly, than 
the sound of famine, or the news of its being suffered by others. 
In this plentiful country, absolute suffering from hunger, is one 
of the evils little known to an individual. And never has a state 
or community, since our vast country was cultivated, known the 
horrors of want. 

It is a curious fact, however, connected with this subject, and 
which we have from sources upon which reliance can be placed, 
that the first three days of deprivation of food are the most distress- 
ing. After this space the painful sensations are less acute. Gene- 
ral debility ensues, and the craving appetite is diminished. Fever^ 


which always enfeebles the desire for food, is produced, and 
sometimes delirium takes place. 

The system, in some degree, accommodates itself to its situa- 
tion, so that the stomach, after long abstinence, ceases to be the 
same organ that it was ; which is proved by a common, and even 
sometimes by a very moderate meal, so disordering it, that the 
person dies. The kind of food that contains most nourishment 
in a small space, is clams. By these being dried, by which then- 
weight is lessened, and they of course deprived of their shells, a 
person may carry more to support life about him than by any 
other known substance. 

It is a curious fact respecting drinks, that their stimulating 
quality is increased by being sipped, licked, or taken in very small 
quantities at once. This may be owing to the absorbents carrying 
the stimulating quality more directly to the brain. It being a fact, 
that persons whose brains have been examined, after having died 
drunk, have been found to contain alcohol in so pure a state that 
the smell of gin and of whiskey could be discerned, and the spirit 
has even burnt, when flame was applied. We have been at pains 
to ascertain this fact, ourselves. 

A bet was made in Philadelphia, that a person might be made 
drunk by licking and sipping a pint of small beer. The wager 
was won, as the person who submitted himself to the experiment, 
was actually made drunk. 

Hunger and thirst may both be lessened by going into a bath, 
either of cold or warm water. The pain of hunger may be in 
some degree mitigated by applying a plaster of shoemaker's wax 
to the stomach. 

§ 51. We are told of Marmontel, that he was cured of a violent 
pain in his head, by fasting ; a course which was prescribed by a 
groom. Every kind of pain and distress is alleviated by music, 
and sometimes by that of a very inharmonious kind. Two chil- 
dren, in the same room, are seldom heard crying together ; the 
little ills of the one, being absorbed by his listening to the cries of 
the other. 

A gentleman pained with the gout, shut himself up in a room 
with his negroes, whom he made to sing as loud as they possibly 


could. Such a method might be tried in surgical operations. 
Tooth-ache will succumb to the sight and noise of two dogs a 
fighting, and at the sight of a dentist. 

Much may be done by the new use of old remedies, in miti- 
gating hunger, thirst, pain, and the other ills of life. Alexander 
and Buonaparte, did not invent any new instruments of destruc- 
tion, but by the superior use of old ones, they killed more men, 
and conquered more nations, than any other monarchs that ever 
lived. We must learn to benefit mankind by the antithesis of their 

§ 52. At forty, a fool or a physician, as relates to one's own 
diseases. Macklin lived over one hundred years, and his method 
was to go to bed as soon as he felt the least unwell, and to refuse 
company for two or three days. 

A chamber horse is made by placing a long board upon a thin 
support at each end, and fastening a chair to the middle of it. 
An invalid may then seat himself in the chair, and by means of a 
strap or string overhead, give himself such a motion as to secure 
a beneficial exercise within doors. 

Languor and fatigue after exercise, are signs of debility ; these 
must be met by Macklin's method, whilst too little exercise dispo- 
ses to obstructions, low spirits, and a train of other evils. These 
must be overcome by the chamber-horse, when the invalid cannot 
go abroad. Singing is one of the methods of strengthening the 
lungs. Quaker women have been supposed to have consump- 
tion, because they never sing. Silent women are apt to be un- 
healthy ; they having been designed to charm the world by their 
agreeable conversation, when they deviate from nature's plan, it 
pays, or rather punishes them. 

Galen said that diseases are cured by remedies, and not by 
rhetoric ; but he evidently had Demosthenes and Cicero, in his 
mind when he wrote, and not a charming, sociable, agreeable, 
and beautiful woman, who may do much towards curing some 
diseases, without remedies. Some one said of his physician, that 
he gained his affection by the suavity of his manners, but that he 
ruined his constitution by his remedies. There is no danger of 


the latter where pleasant conversation and good singino-, only are 
used as remedies. 

§ 53. Josephus tells us of Saul, that some strange demonia- 
cal disorders came upon him, which brought such suffocations as 
were ready to choke him, and that his physicians could find no 
other remedy than that of singing and playing upon the harp to 
relieve him. For this choking malady, of which we have, in fe- 
males, had a great many cases, we have prescribed music, and 
have seen it of much benefit. 

Dr. Wallis, an English physician, tells of a friend of his, that 
he was always drunk, after drinking, if he lay down, but not if 
he sat up. This goes to strengthen our theory, that strong 
liquors are carried directly to the brain, as they would more easily 
find their way there in a supine than in an erect position. 

Cold water is the remedy for fevers in Africa and Asia. Ma- 
homet had this remedy used on himself by his wives. He was 
refreshed by it, but it did not save his life, as he died afterwards. 
It is supposed that cold water has killed some persons in yellow 
fever. The life of Augustus, the Roman Emperor, was saved by 
the cold bath, but one of his relatives was killed by the same 
remedy. In the former case, by saving the life of a great man, 
it obtained immense celebrity, and therefore was used improperly 
in other cases. It is thus that good and evil occupy the same 
bed, but that evil often proves the strongest, and crowds out its 

§ 54. Alcohol or ardent spirits, stimulates the brain and mind, 
increases energy of thought, and acuteness of intellect. In ex- 
cess, in some, it rouses the malevolent and revengeful passions, 
whilst in others, a silly kind of good nature marks the mischief. 
Wine has been called the milk of old age. It is the source of 
smiles, songs and sighs. The Nubians make an intoxicating 
liquor called omberber, which signifies the mother of nightingales, 
because those sing, who drink of it to excess. 

Philo says of angels, that they are the eyes and ears of the 
Great King. The powers of seeing and hearing, are in some 
persons vastly increased by partaking of wine ; but when per- 


fection is obtained, every change is for the worse ; and when the 
mental powers are at their height by the stimulus of wine, they 
are prone to rapidly deteriorate. He it is that endures to the end 
who has the resolution to conquer. 

A woman at the age of one hundred and three years, has lately 
been taken up in the streets of New York, and committed for 
being a common drunkard. A sad commentary upon a long 
misspent life. 

§ 55. He who has wealth, and would apply it to the purposes 
ofhealth and comfort, must spend his summers in New England, 
his autumns in Pennsylvania, or Maryland, and his winters in the 
southern states ; and if consumptive, he must go as far south in 
the cold seasons, as Florida. We would not recommend the 
West Indies, as we knew a fine young physician who was con- 
sumptive, go thither, who died with yellow fever. Consumptions 
also prevail there. 

As to diet for consumptive persons, we would recommend it 
exclusively to consist of bread and butter, covered with sugar or 
honey. Milk may sometimes be used to advantage, but it some- 
times disagrees, and then does injury. When it does not sit wel^ 
a table spoonful of lime-water may be added to a pint of it, or it 
may have either of the sweets, honey, molasses, or sugar, mixed 
with it, in such proportion as to render it harmless, palateable, 
and salutary. It does best when it is rendered perfectly agreea- 
ble ; and as no one is a judge of another's taste, this part of the 
matter must be left with the patient himself. 

The blood of calves and lambs, transfused into the veins of the 
sick, is not likely to do so much as a milk diet. Transfusion has 
never fulfilled its promises. What does not enter the stomach, 
can never enter the blood-vessels with safety, not even water.* 

A woman has been said to have been cured of consumption, by 
keeping her silent for five days.f 

* This position may be remarkably illustrated, by considering that a drop of 
the purest water, swallowed the wrong icay, produces strangulation and distress, 
whilst the thick mucus or phlegm formed in or by the part, is borne without 

t Dr. Rush. 



§ 56. That the world might not be led into idolatry, the first 
discoverer of opium, remains unknown. Of all remedies, this is 
the best, and has been significantly and reverently termed the 
finger of God. A grain of opium once an hour, till it eases pain, 
and produces sweating, cures rheumatism, not transitorily but 
permanently. Opium-eating is a bad practice, but not so injuri- 
ous to health as an intemperate use of ardent spirits. The Earl 
of Mar, died under a life insurance, to a large amount. After his 
death, the insurance office refused to pay the premium, because 
the earl had been discovered to have been an opium-eater. A 
trial was held, and the great physicians of Edinburgh, examined 
as witnesses, whether the habit of opium-eating shortened life or 
not. It was the prejudice of physicians, both there and else- 
where, that this was the fact ; but upon referring to individuals, 
who were known long to have been in this habit, they were 
found alive and in old age, and those who had died, it could not 
be proved, had induced diseases, or shortened their lives by its 
use. The insurance office was therefore compelled to pay. 

Opium may be taken for tooth-ache, and for head-ache, after 
the stomach and blood-vessels have been found in no fault ; for as 
to these they must be in a proper state, or else the opiate will fail 
of the desired effect. 

It has been supposed that opium-eaters refrain from strong 
drink ; but this is not always the case, as the present writer had 
a patient who was intemperately addicted to both. The person 
'referred to was a woman, who would eat opium till she grew 
stupid, and then drink rum till she was elevated ; and when too 
much excited by spirits, she would again resort to opium. She 
was a woman of some standing in society, married, and the mother 
of four children. She died with typhus fever. 

§ 57. Those bear sickness and pain with most calmness, who 
have fortified themselves with a consideration of their probably 
having them to endure. Hence women have more fortitude than 
men, from their reflecting much upon the subject of endurance ; 
or having, if I may be allowed the expression, studied the science 
of suffering. This happens in consequence of women hoping, 
or expecting that they are some time or other to become mothers, 


and of course, that they must be subjected to the pains of child- 
bearing. Men, especially those in advanced life, who have had 
little or no sickness, are very destitute of fortitude, in case they 
fall sick. 

Atticus was one of the best and most proper characters for a 
pattern, and most worthy of imitation, of all the ancient worthies, 
in this, that his conduct was so prudent, judicious and unexcep- 
tionable, that he obtained the esteem, and retained it also, of all 
the parties at Rome, without violating his neutrality. A very 
different state of things from that in which a man unites with no- 
body, and is despised by every body. His health was so fine that 
he arrived at the age of seventy-seven years, without scarce know- 
ing what sickness or pain was. But he now fell sick, yet not 
severely so, his disorder being rather a slight chronic or slow fever, 
than any acute disease. This he bore for three months, when his 
illness put on painful symptoms, which he, it seems, lacked the 
fortitude to bear. He then sent for Agrippa, his son-in-law, and 
for two other persons, to whom he made known his intention of 
ending his days by abstaining from food. His son-in-law remon- 
strated in vain, with tears in his eyes. And here we. may notice 
the length of time, the short time compared with some other cases 
of the kind in which fasting and famine may prove fatal. We 
may also notice the effect of entire abstinence upon the fever of 
Atticus ; for after two days, his fever left him and his disease 
abated. Yet he still persisted, and three days afterwards, making 
five fasting days in the whole, Atticus was a dead man. 

A case of fasting in an insane man, Kilborn by name, hap- 
pened in Colchester, Connecticut, which was so singular that it 
was noticed in London, and published in the European Maga- 
zine, for 1807,* from which we derived our first knowledge re- 
specting it. Mr. Ezekiah Kilborn, until he was fifty years old, 
was a man of intelligent mind. By degrees he then became in- 
sane ; and after three years had elapsed, it was found necessary, 
for the safety of his family, to confine him in chains. In this 
situation, for nearly twenty-five years, he remained, when he im- 
bibed an idea that he should be poisoned to death, and refused 

* See the Obituary for March, 1807, in the European Magazine. 


food ; and for the space of sixty-two days hejived without eating, 
although he drank water and chewed tobacco. He then, by the 
solicitations of his attendants, and with a voracious appetite, took 
one spoonful of milk, and again resumed his total abstinence 
when two days after taking the milk, and sixty-four days from the 
first commencement of his fast, death closed the scene.* His 
age seventy-seven. The inference may be drawn from this case, 
that tobacco allays the suffering of hunger. This is owing to its 
narcotic quality, and by its stimulating powers, it may also serve 
to keep up that action in the powers of life which would sink 
sooner in famine without it. 

§ 58. The pulse in savages, is less frequent than among the 
civilized, because they have less feeling, less tenderness, and less 
pity. No savage would think himself a brave, was his pulse to 
quicken at the approach of death, or become more frequent, when 
he was dying, or to be put into a flutter, at the sight of a tree at 
which he was to be tied up and burnt. 

In fevers, cold wrists, and a drawing down of the lower jaw in 
breathing, are always fatal signs. It is a fatal sign to hear a sick 
person say, let me die in peace. Or if not uniformly fatal, it is so 
often a sign of death, as to be very alarming. Gen. Washington, 
in his last sickness, expressed, by the waving of his hand, this 
fatal symptom of let me alone. So true it is that nature conspires 
its own destruction, by refusing the only means of relief. 

§ 59. The smell of a dying person has been known to be so 
acute, as to smell an apple in the pocket of a person below stairs. 
Super-sensation, and double vision, are symptoms that physicians 
do not like to see in their patients. They denote a taste of 
another world, and a departure from the present. The howling 
of dogs, has been supposed to denote death. Dr. Rush imputes 
this noise in the canine species, to their acuteness of perceiving 
bad smells emanating from sick persons. But persons die with- 
out dogs giving any such notice, and dogs howl without any per- 

* By a division of the town of Colchester, into Colchester and Salem, that 
part of the former town in which Mr. Kilborn lived, is now a part of the latter, 
as I am informed by the venerable Dr. Watrous, of Colchester. 


son's dying ; and when such a sound is heard, there is no appa- 
rently uncommon smell about the sick. Whether or not it is not 
wholly a superstitious notion, must remain undecided. We have 
known sufficient of it to give it a passing notice ; but we should 
hardly have dared to mention a subject so recondite, had we not 
found an exemplar of high authority. We will not dismiss the 
subject, however, without recommending to those persons who 
place any reliance upon the howling of dogs, as denoting death, 
to keep a journal for one year, and if they do not find that the 
dog has proved himself a false prophet, much oftener than a true 
one, then to continue to think that the spirit of prophecy is in the 
dog, otherwise to give it up. The fact is, that coincidences are 
noticed and remembered, whilst the ten thousand failures pass 
without attention. 

Animals are often very noisy upon slight occasions, as the hen, 
when she is disburdened of an egg, and sometimes without an 
event even thus trifling. Why, as people sometimes die during 
the cackling of hens, the peeping of frogs, the hallooing of tree- 
toads, and the cawing of ravens, are not these animals accounted 
foretellers of mortality 1 If animated nature, in brays, bellows, 
and screaming owls, sounds out upon no occasion, why may not 
dogs howl, as dogs bark, without any cause at all 1 Coinciden- 
ces, like diseases, are epidemic. One accident, good or bad, does 
not come alone, but in clusters. 

§ 60. As we have mentioned dogs, the subject of hydropho- 
bia is suggested. A case of hydrophobia, after it has occurred 
with its frightful symptoms, has not hitherto found a remedy. 
Even opium fails of having any effect at all, as Majendie ascer- 
tained. We should be induced to give the sulphate of morphia, 
with the sugar of lead, in the largest doses— say ten grains of 

A case of hydrophobia occurred in Delaware, eighteen years 
after the bite. This is the longest term ever known in America, 
although thirty years are mentioned by Boerhaave. This slow- 
ness of the poison to operate, is analagous to the vaccine, or cow- 
pox, in some peculiar constitutions ; one case of which did not 
occur till a year after inoculation, as we are credibly informed. 


The poison of the mad-dog shows itself about the muscles of the 
throat, and has, like mercury, cantharides, and tartar emetic, a 
specific spot of the human frame, in which it manifests itself at 
first. Just so of the dipsas, a serpent, whose bite causes a mortal 
thirst. But all poisons, although they have a local action at first, 
have a general one at last, affecting the system with fever, convul- 
sion, mortification, or swelling. 

Although hydrophobia has set at defiance the usual remedial 
agents, we have a statement that a French physician having been 
seized with it, and having no hopes of recovery, went into a bath 
heated to 126* in order to end his miseries by drowning himself, 
and that a perspiration ensued, and an unexpected recovery fol- 

§ 61. Cancer, like hydrophobia, is deemed an incurable affec- 
tion, when from a schirrus tumour, it becomes an open ulcer. 
The best way to keep a cancerous tumour safe, js to think nothing 
about it, nor do nothing for it. A man caught a cancer on his 
lip, by kissing a woman who had one on her's. We have known 
death finally to ensue, from the patient submitting to an operation 
for a kind of horny-wart, which never had troubled him, and 
probably never would, had he not troubled that. It is best not to 
rouse the lion, when we have no means to quell him. 

§ 62. The source of colds and catarrhs is laid by exposure to 
a current of air, or to wet, dampness, and heating one part of the 
body whilst other parts of it remain cold. 

The Russians avoid catching cold by heating their rooms by 
means of stoves. The Hollanders by inuring themselves to their 
climate, and accustoming themselves to sit without any fire at all 
in winter ; as from the scarcity of fuel, they rake up their fires 
after cooking, just as we do at night. 

A man in New York, cured his family of influenza, by what he 
called par boiling them, that is by the hot bath. 

§ 63. Trances occur after a dangerous sickness, when the 
mind is wholly intent upon the world of spirits. One Thomas 

* 126 3 of Fahrenheit, 42° of Reaumur. 


Say, of Philadelphia, lay so long in a trance, that he was given 
up for dead, and laid out. When he recovered, he mentioned the 
names of two persons who had died, whilst he lay in that state. 
This, to be sure, seems very strange, as persons lying in a trance, 
cannot be made to show any signs of life, not even by pricking 
them with pins and needles. But Mr. Say went further ; he as- 
serted that he had seen one of these persons in a state of happi- 
ness, and the other in a state of misery. Now it is known, and 
we have known something of it in our own practice, that persons 
hear when animation is suspended, and when they show no signs 
of sense, nor scarce any of life ; and the probability is, that he 
heard of the death of these persons by the hearing of the ear, 
and that there was nothing supernatural in the matter. As to the 
states of happiness and misery in which he fixed them, the most 
probable solution is, that he inferred them from his knowledge of 
their moral characters. Sick persons, after recovery, like to deal 
in the marvellous, and to tell what eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard. A whisper, has sometimes availed to arouse a person 
from a trance, when loud noises have failed. But in one instance 
in a patient of our own, we succeeded by firing pistols into the 
fire place, and under the windows of his room, in the night. The 
flash and sound had the desired effect, although he was given up 
as dying or dead by his friends. 

A man in Tennessee, was resuscitated after having been put 
into a coffin, and the coffin into the grave. The first spade full of 
earth thrown on to the coffin, was succeeded by a groan, which 
was distinctly heard. The coffin was raised, and the man com- 
pletely recovered. A woman, who was apparently dead, revived 
by a dog licking her lips. 

An old man, who was dead to appearance, and for ,whom 
watchers were obtained, to watch with the corpse during the night, 
was revived and restored to life and health. A person came into 
the room to treat the people with liquor, when passing near the 
corpse, he said, " come old man I will not pass you," and imme- 
diately poured a glass of brandy into his mouth. Startling and 
surprising enough to the attendants, it excited strangling. He 
revived and recovered. 



Attempts to revive a dead person, never can do any harm, and' 
may, if not oftener than once in ten thousand attempts, save a 
life. To be buried alive, caps the climax of all the horrid deaths. 
Still, as to suffering, although imagination places it at its height, 
a very eminent and competent judge, in such matters, thought 
that no suffering, or very little could be endured in the grave ; 
and that all sensibility was soon lost, when air, or the supposed 
soul, which some make to consist in air, is shut out. Air being 
the breath of life, and breathing and life being the same thing, it 
has been inferred, that those that do not breathe, cannot feel. 
But upon these points there may be much said on all sides. 

§ 64. Resuscitation, is caused by sympathy, as the motion of 
the throat in swallowing, or in quackling, is extended to the heart, 
which causes it to beat, and then to the lungs, and then breathing 
ensues. And so of applying warmth to the skin, inflating the 
lungs, and exciting the peristaltic motion, and rolling on a cask, 
applying salt to the skin, and hartshorn, or ammonia, or ether, to 
the nose, all of which should be tried on drowned persons. 



§ 1. Bad smells are said to be connected with immorality in 
conduct. Hence the extraordinary immorality and wickedness of 
the inhabitants about Mount Vesuvius. 

A military commander gave credit to the books of Moses, as 
being the best orderly code of discipline in the world. 

The Bramins are very disagreeably affected by the smell of an 
English sailor, after he has been a long voyage. This may be 
owing to his living for a long time upon animal food, and to their 
living upon vegetables only. 

A drop of the oil of damask roses, will render fragrant a whole 
pint of olive oil, and the odour is said to continue for a great 
many years. A grain of the best musk, has been known to be 
smelt in a room for twenty years. There is a fragrant shrub, 
growing in North Carolina^ which has been smelt at sea, one 
hundred and twenty miles from the coast. A dog has been sup- 
posed to discern the difference between a live sheep and a dead 
one, when both were buried up in the snow. He scratched over 
the live sheep, apparently with an intention of helping it out, but 
howled over the dead one. 

We have noticed an account from the great Boerhaave, of the 
extraordinary acuteness of smell in the elephant. He was said 
to have selected a piece of money from among one thousand 
pieces, only because it had passed through his master's hands. 

Some fevers are distinguishable by the smell. Typhus fever 

has the smell of mice. 



§ 2. No animal has naturally an odd number of eyes, nor is 
any one formed by nature with a single eye. Some species of 
the spider have eight eyes, some insects six, and some four. 

Persons who have weak eyes, should avoid a light either too 
scanty, or too excessive. Reading old books, is better for weak 
eyes, than those which are newly printed. The eyes, like every 
other part of the body, gain strength by exercise. It is, there- 
fore, erroneous to resort to spectacles so long as they can be 
avoided. The eye-sight may be deficient for a while, and become 
better, by the natural powers of vision accommodating themselves 
to the altered shape of the eye, or on the contrary, the altered 
shape of the eye by old age, may accommodate itself to the con- 
centration of the visual rays. 

§ 3. For defect of hearing, sneezing, an emetic, and pouring 
the juice of red onions, a little warmed, and mixed with the oil of 
sweet almonds, into the ear, may all be useful. 

We hear imperfectly when we yawn, owing to the muscles of 
the lower jaw making a noise, and perhaps obstructing the air 
into the Eustachian tube, or putting it in motion. 

Deficient hearing is helped by holding a stick in the mouth ; a 
discovery which was made by a young lady who was deaf, and 
who happened to have a stick in her mouth by the end, whilst the 
other end was lying on a harpsichord. 

The little moveable bones of the ear, contrary to all other 
bones in the body, do not grow as age advances, they being as 
large in an infant of five months old, as ever they are. 

People are observed to listen with their mouths open, which 
may be a help to hearing in two ways, one by admitting the sound 
by way of the mouth into two little tubes leading from near the 
back part of the nostrils into the cavity of the ear. These tubes 
are affected by colds and sore throats, in consequence of which 
the hearing is rendered less perfect for a time, and sometimes, es- 
pecially in children, the ear becomes painful. The other mode 
in which opening the mouth helps the hearing, is by widening the 
opening of the external ear. 

§ 4. The lungs of an unborn child which has not breathed, 
would appear entirely useless to it, as well as many other parts of 



its little body. If we can suppose that it thinks, conjectures, and 
reasons, it might well wonder for what purpose its feet and legs 
were made, even after its birth, as it cannot walk for many 
months. A more perfect state of maturity, alone could unfold 
these mysteries to its mind. So with man in his present state of 
existence, there are a great many inscrutable things, which are 
involved in the deepest darkness, which a future state of being 
may render perfectly plain. For when the infant can walk, 
nothing can be plainer to it, than the purposes for which its legs 
and feet were made. 

§ 5. Dr. Rush thought that the materiality of the soul did not 
clash at all with Christianity. He thought that St. Paul was mis- 
taken when he said that a seed placed in the ground did not grow 
unless it died. He thought that if it died it would never grow. 
He thought also that spirit did not naturally possess any more 
immortality than matter, but that in either case, that all depended 
upon the will of the Creator. 

§ 6. The lapse of ages is not felt in the grave, whether time 
passes fast or slow — a day from a thousand years cannot be dis- 
tinguished in that state. The memory of living beings, is both 
active and passive, according to circumstances. We are com- 
pelled to remember what we would forget, and often forget things 
that we wish to remember. In order for thought to be produced, 
and ideas retained in the mind, it is necessary for a due supply of 
blood to be sent to the brain. We have had patients who during 
fits of sickness, have lost week after week of their existence, of 
which they remembered not one single circumstance when they 
recovered. We suppose that in such cases, that there was not a 
due supply of red blood sent to the brain. There are other cases, 
however, in which a superabundance of blood flowing to the 
head, may oppress the brain, confuse the thoughts, and destroy 
the memory. Such is the state of things in apoplexy. 

§ 7. Instinct, both men and brutes possess in common. The 
infant has instinct, but when it arrives at maturity, reason in some 
measure supersedes it, because instinct is not necessary, when 
reason is surer. 


The Mexicans consult the instinct of their children in a re- 
markable manner, by first making them drunk, and then laying 
a number of tools in their way, belonging to different trades. 
The tool which the child chooses, designates the trade which it is 
afterwards to learn. 

§ 8. We perceive that infants have an instinctive attachment 
to their mother, and have seen an account of an infant who at the 
age of eighteen months, crept to its mother, in order to pull away 
another infant she had taken, because its mother was dead. 

The most extraordinary instances of memory in the world, and 
the most incredible, are those of Cyrus, and Adrian, or Hadrian. 
Cyrus remembered the name of every man in his army, consist- 
ing of one hundred thousand men. 

Adrian's memory was so retentive that he retained every inci- 
dent of his life, and knew the names of all the soldiers of his 
vast army. He killed five hundred thousand Jews because they 
rebelled, and built a city upon the ruins of Jerusalem, which he 
called iEka. He went to Britain, and it was he who built a wall 
sixty miles long, to prevent the irruptions of the then barbarous 
Caledonians. It has been supposed that when one faculty greatly 
excels, that others, or some one of the other faculties, are defi- 

We have an account of one Joshua Barnes, who exceeded 
most persons in his retentive faculty, but was thought very defi- 
cient in some other endowments ; insomuch that one of his class- 
mates proposed for him this epitaph : 

Here lies Joshua Barnes, of happy Memory, 
waiting for judgment. 

§ 9. Imagination has been supposed to resemble memory ; 
but the resemblance is not very close, as it embraces things future, 
distant, ideal, and extends to other countries, and to other worlds. 
It includes things profound, spiritual, sublime, and beautiful ; but 
not these alone, as it descends to things superficial, prohibited, 
and mean. 

The current of our thoughts, our imagination and faith, are 
partly controlable by the will, but not wholly so. We may wish 


to have thoughts only pleasurable, but we cannot by the power of 
the will always command them so to be ; and we may desire for 
cogitations only holy, but evil thoughts and light imaginings will 
sometimes visit the mind. 

We are sometimes as unable to stop the current of our thoughts, 
as we are the rolling of thunder, or the course of the Mississippi. 
They follow as consequences of what we see and hear, and of 
what we have heard and seen heretofore. When great conquer- 
ors are mentioned, who can refrain from thinking of Alexander, 
Julius Caesar and Buonaparte? And if an usurper, or a hypo- 
crite, is named, Oliver Cromwell will most assuredly be thought of. 
So if in sickness we have partaken of food or fruit that has 
oppressed the stomach, given pain, or brought back fever, we 
cannot see the article without its exciting in the mind the whole 
train of our sufferings. And however distressing it may be, we 
are compelled to think of our miseries, and their accompaniments, 
all over and over again. The sight of a miserable object, who 
had been so burned about the mouth, that although he had the 
parts healed, his mouth was all the time wide open, would occur 
to those who had seen him, when burns were mentioned, or 
mouths distorted seen. 

The strongest impressions are made when words, sounds, and 
sights, have immediate relation to events. Monomania, or in- 
sanity upon one point, may be suddenly produced, and yet last 
for life. A man took it into his head, that a certain minister was 
in reality the Devil himself. This he maintains, and is firmly and 
fully persuaded of in his own mind. The strange reason was, 
that this minister attended the man's wife in her last sickness, and 
first announced to him that she was dead. He was a little crazed 
upon that point only. A gentleman who escaped with his life 
from Lisbon, when that city was ruined by an earthquake, and so 
many lives lost, could not, during the remainder of his life, hear 
the mention of the word earthquake, without going delirious. 

The association of ideas, may sometimes be connected with a 
similarity of sounds ; or fancy may suggest to an individual, re- 
semblances, fitted to his imagination alone, and which to no other 
mortal on earth, would excite the same idea. This is the basis 
upon which men differ in legislative bodies, in armies, in courts^ 


and on juries. The same facts, and the same evidence, do not 
make the same impressions. 

A man once lived in the city of Philadelphia, whose name was 
Alexander Alexander. Another man who had some business 
with him, had forgotten the name, but in making inquiries, and 
conversing upon the subject, he said that he recollected that the 
man's name was like Point no Point, a place so called on the 
Delaware river. Upon mention of this, the person to whom he 
was addressing himself, immediately guessed that Mr. Alexander 
was the person whom he wished to see, which was perfectly cor- 
rect. But ever after, poor Mr. Alexander went by the name of 
Point no Point. 

§ 10. Men associate things with their particular professions. 
The sight of a conspicuous eminence, a knoll or hill, would, by 
a military man, be thought a suitable place for a fort ; by a mill- 
wright, a place for a windmill ; whilst a gardener would view its 
slopes and summit, as proper for certain plants, shrubs, and vege- 

Judgment is dull and deficient in some men, and acute and 
accurate in others ; and upon it depends the great difference be- 
tween men in the business and affairs of life. Its outlines are 
formed by acute discrimination, between the propriety of immedi- 
ate and vigorous action, in the general, or the Fabian policy of 
delay, in order for the accumulation of energy, and the future 
exercise of exertion, upon a scale more extended, or more deci- 
sive, or less hazardous to life, or of more extensive injury to an 
enemy, or of benefit to his country. 

Accurate distinction, has been called judgment ; but this de- 
pends not upon the mind, but upon the acuteness of the senses ; 
whereas judgment is more of a mental act. They are, how- 
ever, so nearly related, as sometimes not to be very easily dis- 

A certain grazier, in this country, could distinguish the cattle of 
every state in the Union, at first sight. This probably depended 
more upon his acuteness of vision, than upon any thing else. 
Sharpness of sight, and minuteness of comparison, are mighty 

THIS TOIMUUiS ur limb. 


agents in sheriffs, constables, drovers, and jockies ; in hunters of 
thieves, and hunters of beasts. 

§ 11. One sense, and one faculty, sometimes take the place 
of another ; and there have been persons who had so much judg- 
ment, that every other gift of nature, or sense, seemed almost su- 

Terror excites motion in paralytic limbs, and excites thought 
in dull and torpid minds. It arouses energy and penetrates 
mystery. It suggests resources which would otherwise never have 
been thought of. 

A party of shipwrecked sailors, upon a barbarous coast, hav- 
ing been captured by the savages, expected nothing but immediate 
death. Upon this, one of them, who was an Irishman and light 
of foot, commenced an Irish dance. It amused the barbarians 
mightily, and he and his companions were saved. He was after- 
wards made a chief, and married to the daughter of one of the 
native chiefs. 

Acuteness of discernment, and minuteness of comparison, will 
enable one person to detect an artificial strawberry, from one 
that was natural, at first sight, which would deceive another. 

§ 12. Old President Adams' definition of the people of New 
England was, that they were a " going to meeting animal." 

376 th 

L* iuhuuij wr l liuui 

A certain writer assumes that man is a religious bein<r, and 
adduces one proof, which we think can hardly be admitted as a 
pertinent one. It is, that the gamester thanks God for a good 
hand of cards. He thinks that the mariner always calls on God 
in a storm. But these things, by such persons, are oftener done 
profanely than religiously. 

§ 13. When we consider conscience, in all its bearing, in re- 
lation to the general who kills by ten thousand a day, in relation 
to the barbarian who murders the infant, and scalps and tortures 
the adult, it is difficult to make it a universal principle of rio-ht 
and of wrong. For in such cases, it is a principle of wrong without 
any thing of right ; as is the case with it, in the vast hordes of 
cannibals, thieves, and murderers, who infest Asia and Africa, 
and the Islands. It is true that right and wrong belono- to the 
conscience, when there is any conscience, and that it acts as a 
judge, when there is any internal judge, in deciding cases of con- 

But what sort of conscience can that savage have, who imitates 
his father, in murdering an infant, and plundering a traveller, 
and whose father also only followed the customs of his ancestors, 
and of his nation, in doing the same acts of barbarity, from time 
immemorial? When we talk of conscience, we can hardly in- 
clude in its limits the uncivilized barbarian, the savage, or the 

Jews and Christians evidently exceed all others, of whatever 
part of the world, in conscience ; and yet they lose all semblance 
of it in a great many instances. 

§ 14. It may be as true philosophy, that the spirit of God ope- 
rates upon the human mind, as that light acts on the eyes. But 
we must not lose sight of revelation, and see it superseded by any 
philosophy whatever. When we come to extend this operation 
of the spirit of God, to all mankind, we are lost in finding it ; and 
are obliged to admit that that spirit, which is described in revela- 
tion as the prince of the power of the air, is also to be found still 
in operation. 


§ 15. A Congress, a house of Commons, a house of delegates, 
or a house of Assembly, or general Court, may be compared to 
the understanding. A Senate, a house of Lords, or Upper House, 
and a Court of Justice, may be compared to the moral, the reli- 
gious faculty. We suppose, that although the former understand, 
that the latter have a better, a more profound, a more comprehen- 
sive understanding. But in this there may be misconceptions in 
some instances ; and even when correct in the abstract, there may 
be a deficiency in filling up and carrying out ; for judgment and 
justice build solitary cottages. Whereas trifling, indecision, 
temerity, insurrection, revolution, and wickedness, are, with hell 
and destruction, always full. 

Still, all this only proves, that the strongest party is against 
judgment and justice, and that the majority when it rules, does 
not always rule right, although it must, in republican governments, 
rule some how or other ; and generally, though slowly, arrive at 

Judgment draws upon realities only ; reason extends to an 
immense number of other objects, and endeavors to clasp in its 
arms the whole human race, and even to include objects unknown, 
and unrevealed. Reason is more like Cain, who built the first 
city, than like Judgment, who lived in the country. 

But the world is like Lord Chatham, who would bestow favors 
upon a sprightly fool, rather than upon a man of sense, who was 

Reason is regular in its combinations, precise in its deductions, 
and attractive in its demonstrations, but without judgment it fails 
in its applications. Genius is far inferior to reason, in all these 
things ; but it soars aloft, excites a gaze, and whilst it flies on 
reason's wings, which is not long, it sustains its weight. But 
neither reason nor judgment are always combined with genius, 
and when these leave it entirely to support itself, it fails and falls 
to the ground. 

Wit and wisdom are two very different things. Wit is allied to 
genius, and wisdom to judgment. Genius, considers ; wisdom, 
contemplates. Wit and genius are often incongruous ; wisdom 
and judgment are always consistent, congruous, and concise. 


But what wisdom, and judgment, and the most comprehensive 
understandings, discover from time to time, are only what existed 
in the mind of the Deity for ever. , 

§ 16. Motives, stimulate the will ; objects, the senses ; ambi- 
tion and avarice, the desires ; meat, drinks, and condiments, the 
corporeal frame. There is no action, either voluntary or involun- 
•tary, which can be possibly performed, without a stimulus of some 
kind or other. Even air inspired, stimulates the lungs to expire 
it. And the expiration of air from the lungs, arouses the whole 
system to seek for the breath of life, and to breath fresh air in 

Edwards, on the will, has been more highly esteemed by some, 
than either Reid, Beattie, or Priestly ; but only for the reason that 
he buries his subject in deeper obscurity. For with some, an 
author that cannot be understood, stands higher than any one who 
can be comprehended. 

If actions arise altogether from inevitable necessity, the sword, 
and the hand, which committed murder, are both equally guilty, 
and equally innocent. Reason, in the abstract, we know favors 
the doctrine of necessity. But experience, the guide of common 
sense — yes all experience is against this doctrine of necessity, 
and cries out with one loud and unceasing voice, that the mur- 
derer ought to be punished. And so it will for ever cry, with a 
voice too loud for visionaries to silence. 

§ 17. Man has been denned an anticipating animal, but this 
will not distinguish him from some brutes ; for the beaver antici- 
pates ; the butcher-bird, which catches insects and flies, and 
sticks .them on to thorns, to eat at his leisure, and as his appetite 
craves, anticipates ; as does the squirrel, which hides nuts in hol- 
low trees, and the ant, and indeed every bird that builds herself a 

The memory, is the first of the' mental faculties which decays 
by age ; but when the memory first begins to decay, the judgment 
increases. In extreme old age, however, both fail. An old 
woman of ninety years, said that she had forgot every thing but 
her God. But we now know an old lady of eighty-six, whose 


memory is not impaired. And we knew a revolutionary officer 
of upwards of ninety-six, who was a captain in the battle of 
Bunker Hill, who could thread a cambric needle without spec- 

Some Indians do not anticipate so much as some brutes ; for 
they will burn their wigwams in the spring, and sell their clothes, 
and even their beds in the morning, without any provision for the 
next winter or next night. 

An old horse knows more than a young one, and a learned 
pig is more sagacious than a child of the same age. Animals use 
their limbs more, and their heads less, than man. 

The more limited the studies of men, the less capacious their 
minds ; the more confined their occupations, the more they re- 
semble mere machines. Hence a soldier becomes a musket, and 
a fisherman a net. Beasts do not perish because they have no 
minds, but because their minds were not created for immortality. 

§ 18. There was a Paris beggar, the top of whose skull was 
knocked off, and which he carried about in his hand, to beg money 
in. He would suffer physicians to try experiments upon him for 
a trifling compensation. By pressure upon the membrane that 
covered his brain, all the powers of his mind were destroyed, 
until the pressure upon his brain was discontinued. He fell into 
an apoplectic sleep, and if standing up fell to the ground, and 
slowly recovered when the weight was removed. 

The prospect of a battle next day, nor the certainty of death 
by execution, does not always prevent repose, nor lessen the hours 
of sleep. M. Custini, son of the General of that name, who 
was guillotined at Paris, wrote to his wife a few hours before he 
was beheaded, that he had slept nine hours the preceding night. 

The present writer slept one nignt at Niagara Falls, and in 
that end of the Cataract Hotel that was nearest the mighty won- 
der, yet his anticipations of being kept awake were not realized, 
for he slept well. 

It is said that those who live near the cataracts of the Nile, can- 
not sleep at a distance from them, owing to their having become 
accustomed lo the noise, the stimulus of which they lack upon 
the ear. 


A woman who slept habitually with a candle burning in her 
bed-room, suddenly awoke if the light went out. 

Some of the soldiers in Buonaparte's army, would sleep, after 
extreme fatigue and exhaustion, on the ground by the side of a 
twenty-four pounder, which was constantly firing. 

The faculties of the mind are changed by sleep, and it is said 
of some rogues, that they awake with less vicious propensities ; 
but these increase, and return to their former height, when the 
temptations of the day are before their eyes. 

When troubles distract the mind, it is common for its energies 
to be increased, if they are not so heavy as to sink and depress it. 
And this acuteness of the mental powers, may continue in sleep, 
and give rise to dreams, which have a connection with the waking 

§19. A widow woman in New Jersey, was sued for five hun- 
dred dollars, which debt she believed that her husband had paid in 
his life time, but she was unable to find any evidence of the fact, 
amongst the papers which he had left. In a troubled state of 
mind, she dreamed one night that her husband appeared, and told 
her that in such a drawer, a receipt might be found for the money. 
When she awoke, she searched and found the receipt in the place 
pointed out. Now this dreaming might have been but a seeming, 
which led to a recollection, that the drawer in which the paper 
was, had not been searched. 

We have known persons who could not easily distinguish be- 
tween their waking and sleeping cogitations ; nor could they 
always tell, what was in reality the truth, from what they imagin- 
ed to be so. Such persons possess powerful imaginations. They 
can hardly distinguish between dreaming and seeming, fancy and 
fact. Such persons may lose their characters for veracity, and 
still be unconscious of telling untruths. We have known some 
bright females of this description, who did not appear as though 
nature ever designed them for sleepers or dreamers. They ap- 
peared always wide awake themselves, and as if nature had de- 
signed them to keep the eyes of the world wide open, in order to 
admire their persons, and its ears unstopt, to hear their pithy and 
pleasing conversation. But imagination alone, performs some 
things in sleep, which it never does awake. 


§ 20. Lovers, whose love is fervid and unceasing, exhaust the 
subject which so intensely occupies their minds, during their 
waking hours. And hence they cannot dream of each other, 
when they very much wish so to do. But when their passion 
abates, it is perhaps most apt to be renewed in dreams. Hence 
ladies must be cautioned when their lovers tell them that they 
dream of them, to suspect that the ardor of their passion has 
diminished rather than increased. 

A mischievous boy pricked a sleeping minister in his back with 
a pin ; and it would seem that the mind of the divine was upon 
the things of his profession, for he did not awake, but exclaimed, 
" Oh ! I now know what St. Paul meant by a thorn in the flesh." 

A gentleman got up in his sleep, and as it would appear dress- 
ed himself, for he came into the room where his family was, who 
had company, and joined very pleasantly in the passing conver- 
sation, and even sung a song; when suddenly starting, he awoke, 
and this was the first intimation that his companions had, that he 
had not been all the time awake. We have this case from Dr. 
Rush, as well as that of a young man in Connecticut, who was 
subject to fits, in which he sometimes bathed himself, and under- 
took some kinds of business, all without coming out of his fit, 
and all of which he forgot as soon as the fit was off; but when he 
had another fit, he recollected all about it, and even took up the 
business which he had undertaken in his former fit, where he had 
left it, and just as it should be. This was another instance of a 
double mind, or soul ; one mind and memory whilst in his fits, 
and another mind and memory when* out of them. The motion 
of the fibres, arteries and nerves of the brain, was different from 
that of health, hence new ideas, new actions, and new plans of 
business, all which vanished when the morbid motion ceased, and 
the healthy one returned. These repeated instances of souls, ap- 
parently double, prove the intimate connection of the soul with 
the brain. 

Take away sleep, hope, and a day of rest, and life would be a 
thousand fold worse than total annihilation. After the Sabbath, 
the mind and the body, with renovated vigor, can accomplish 
more than ordinary. It was on account of the injury done to the 



constitution, that the decades of France, are said to have been 
abolished. They injured morals, also. 

We have one case of palsy upon record, occurring during 
sleep, but it is, so far as we know, a solitary one. It was that of 
a man who dreamed that one of his legs was turned into stone, 
and upon awaking, his leg was found so disabled by palsy, that 
he could not move it. This was what Hippocrates called apo- 
plexy of the leg. 

The mind is apt to be affected by palsy, even if a single limb 
only is paralyzed. We had a patient, a clergyman, and one of 
the most serious, and free from all levity, of any one, even of his 
own profession, that we ever knew. He had a slight shock of 
palsy, which affected his tongue, and his speech ; but it produced 
a degree of levity, which he sometimes manifested, entirely un- 
known before that event. 



§ 1. To obtain the lion's part, a man must have a lion's 
heart. The want of immediate success, should not discourage 
us, nor make us quit the path of principle. Perseverance in a 
righteous cause has sustained the world. We must imitate such 
a sustaining perseverance, let immediate discouragements be 
what they may. He who would do universal good, must survey 
the whole universe, and not a part of it. No, not even if that 
part be never so brilliant. A great many houses, and a great 
many people, in a small space, should not divert the attention of 
the politician, from a still greater number of houses, and a more 
immense population, more widely spread, more extensively aim- 
ing, claiming, and equally entitled, to common benefits. A rock 
this upon which many a patriot has split. Affectionate resolves, 
for a section, a city, a locality, have often been mistaken for a 
resolution to embrace the whole community. The agriculturalist, 
the mechanic, the merchant, the manufacturer, the navigator, the 
fisherman, the professional man, and the single female, must all 
be embraced, or else the political, the patriotic survey, is not 
complete. A great city, has often been mistaken for a still greater 
country. The language of a great commercial emporium, such 
as London, and Paris, and New York, has been fatally mistaken 
for the voice of the whole nation. Such mistakes must be sedu- 
lously avoided by him who would do good to all, and harm to 
none, and maintain a place to do good to any. The dweller upon 
salt-water, must not be patronized exclusively, and to the preju- 


dice of the inland population. Salt-water floats ships, but it does 
not freight them. 

The sugar, the cotton, the corn, wine, oil, and iron, the silver, 
silk and gold, must have the dry land, and yeoman's hand, or else 
the empty sail may rot at the wharf. 

The rain of heaven falls into the Atlantic, but it responds not 
to the gift. It falls upon the thirsty plain, and its gratitude is dis- 
played by the springing grass, the yellow corn r and fragrant 

Commerce carries, commerce brings, commerce exchange's, but 
labor, on land, produces. When the country fails, which God 
made, the city falls, which Cain built. The vicegerent of heaven, 
the legislator, must view them both, country and city, as common 
stock, as to his care, his protection, his foresight, his study, and 
his duty. Each, and all, must come within his political scope. 
He must be alive to the land, the sea, the city, the country, the 
hand, the head, and the heart. If one system be broken in frag- 
ments, another system will tumble down, and the falling ruins will 
crush the pretender to protection, and the country too. Even im- 
mense mercantile and manufacturing failures, affect a few indi- 
viduals, more than they do the country at large. Every rod of 
fence that is built, and every house, manufactory, or other build- 
ing that is erected, and every acre of ground that is cleared and 
cultivated, add to the wealth of the nation, although these things 
may be done with so much extravagance, as to ruin individuals. 
It is said that we have become a laughing stock to Europe, on 
account of our profession falling so much below our practice. 
There seems to be a disposition to imitate the customs and habits 
of monarchical countries, in every thing except their mode of 
government. Republican simplicity in dress, furniture, build- 
ings, and equipage, is not maintained. All these are supposed, 
on the contrary, to approach perfection just in proportion as they 
assume the models of monarchies. 

He or she who can form a matrimonial alliance with any blood 
of foreign nobility, arrives at once at the summit of all perfection, 
even in our republican opinions. 

The philosophy of money matters, the world never has had a 
politician deep enough to dive into. The circulating medium, 


scrip, stock and exchange, are most wisely left to regulate them- 
selves. Not even Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, could 
fully develope their intricacies. 

We must never forget, that we owe our independence to paper 
money. Patrick Henry, whom John Randolph of Roanoke, 
termed Shakspcarc and Garrick combined, observed that, "How- 
ever right it may appear to decry the paper money, it would have 
been fatal then ;" [that is, in the time of the revolution,] " for 
America," he continues, " might have perished, without the aid 
and effect of that circulating medium." Yet to prove what ought 
to be done respecting banks, an honorable Senator,* in the United 
States Senate, based his argument upon what France and Eng- 
land had done. Both these monarchies had prohibited small 
bills, therefore, our republic must do the same ! But their laws 
in this respect, are evidently designed for the benefit of the few, 
and not for the many. The common people neither here nor 
there can touch large bills, and to prohibit small ones is taking 
away the rights of the many. The English government, at one 
time made the Bank of England notes irredeemable except at the 
pleasure of the Bank ; the Bank, at the same time, helping the 
government to just such sums as it wanted. The play and the 
players were thus helping the few, the rich and the strong, which 
is the tendency of arbitrary rulers, and is the tendency here of 
prohibiting small bills. 

Elevated posts, and high-handed measures, in government, are 
like the lofty crags of steep mountains, only accessible to eagles 
and reptiles. 

Right, as Vattel says, goes hand in hand with necessity ; and 
necessity, with the voice of the many, will in the end speak so 
loud as to be heard. But this voice may be suppressed, till Con- 
gress, in the language of Mr. Henry, has blighted every blade of 
grass, and every germ of vegetation. The prohibition of small 
bank bills, is directly opposed to that clause of our Constitution, 
which prohibits the enacting of any law, impairing the obliga- 
tion of private contract. 

* Mr. Benton, of Missouri. 


Credit, travels the same road with success, and public prosper- 
ity. When these fail, credit sinks, commerce and navigation de- 
cline, and bankruptcy, want of employment, with misery, ensue. 
These disasters are to be looked for, when politicians and rulers 
undertake to meddle with what they do not understand, the re<ni- 
lation of the currency — a matter which must be left, like the laws 
of nations, which are voluntary, conventional, and customary 
and only become positive, by consent, use and general utility. 
Nor should religion ever be touched by statesmen. 

Josephus says of Homer, that he never uses any word answer- 
able to the word laiv. Wise maxims went far to do away its ne- 
cessity ; but the wisest maxims never will do unless they are ob- 

Government does all for commerce, money matters, and for re- 
ligious matters, which they ask, wish, want, or desire, when it 
lets them entirely alone. It affects much good when it touches 
them, it effects most good, when it touches them not. A giant's 
strength is sometimes best when it reposes. But the world of 
thought never rests, and yet to discover new territories within its 
precincts, is an effect demanding an effort which few can reach. 
Every sailor cannot be a Columbus, because New Worlds are not 
every day to be discovered ; but every steersman in the world, 
moral, physical, or professional, who is too ignorant, or too indo- 
lent, to thoroughly inform himself of the state of navigation, of 
the needle, the ocean, the rocks and the quicksands, is accounta- 
ble for the consequences. 

We must embrace human nature, and physical nature, as sys- 
tems. They have systems, just as every tree has a body, though 
every tree may not have blossoms. 

§ 2. The history of the formation of hills and vallies, merits 
a theory, a system. It is a part of Geology, which must be under- 
taken. Countries that have mountains, and countries that have 
hills, are very different. Mountains are stone, hills are earth ; 
not so exclusively, for some hills, and some mountains, are made 
up, not of one ingredient, but of both. 

Thorlakson's account of a volcanic mountain, in Iceland, 
ought not to be omitted, as it combines the hill, the mountain, the 
volcanic fire, and the volcanic water. 



Thorlakson, was a minister, and in the midst of his service, on 
a Sabbath, he, although an aged man, was alarmed — so much 
alarmed that he rushed from his church, and then he saw the peak 
of a neighbouring mountain, alternately heaving up and sinking. 
The next day this mountain top, ran down into the plain, like 
melted lead. The plain rose, and the mountain sunk, so that no 
towerino- mountain could be seen. After the melting of the 
mountain, or before, volumes of water were extruded. It was 
the Orsefa mountain; one of ,the loftiest in Iceland. Thorlakson, 
did not mean, however, to say that the whole mountain was level- 
led, but only that its top disappeared. The waters appear to 
have preceded the fire, in such torrents as to sweep every thing 
before them. Fire then burst out, not only from the crater from 
which the waters had issued, but from every side of the mountain, 
bursting the ice and scattering it about in every direction. Ashes 
and smoke darkened the air, and this terrific scene lasted for 
more than three days. 

§ 3. The stories and pictures of comets have been mere im- 
positions upon the public. We have seen a table in the Penny 
Magazine, with the years marked, in which comets appeared, or 
remained visible. They do not appear to have affected the cold 
or the heat of the weather, or the health or sickness of the inhab- 


itants. So much for this vaunted piece of imposture. Comets 
are the castings off of inflammable matters from the sun, and 
from the other heavenly bodies, and in fact the burning mountains 
of the skies ; but at the same time, so far distant as not to affect 
the atmosphere with their heat, or human lungs with their gases. 
We well recollect that there was one of them in sight during the 
extreme cold winter of 1812. It was to be sure a sickly season 
in some places ; but if the sickness had been owing to cometary 
influence, why, we may query, was not the sickness commensu- 
rate in extent, with so general, so continental a cause % 

Comets do not appear to alter the state of the seasons, so as to 
affect the crops, or the vintage. They are, as to the productions 
of the earth, messengers of neither good nor evil. Time and 
chance, happen alike to all men, whether comets are visible or in- 
visible. A Mr. Forster, has referred plague and pestilence to 
comets ; but we are told that his pretended facts are contradicted 
by Littrow, most conclusively. And it is said that in 717, that 
there was three years' plague in the East, and that there was 
three hundred thousand deaths at Constantinople, but yet there 
was no comet at all.* This is most unfortunate for those who 
refer all plagues to comets ; and such instances are too numerous 
not to set the matter entirely at rest. We hear of no comet in 
1793, when the yellow fever carried off upwards of five thousand 
persons, in the city of Philadelphia, nor in its various and de- 
structive visits to the city of New York. Nor do we learn that the 
cholera, so destructive in most parts of the world, from 1S17 to 
1837, had any such precursor, or accomplice, as a comet. 

The stimulus of necessity, prompts the animal to seek for food, 
and drink and shelter. This stimulus of necessity arouses to ac- 
tion in thousands of ways. Maternal affection, and the sparrow, 
which for her young seeks her nest, although pleasurable sensa- 
tions may accompany them, may still be considered as acting 
under the stimulus of necessity. Did not the mother feed, dress, 
warm, and take care of her infant, such horrid agonies would 
wrench her breast, as would render attention to those duties im- 

* See a decisive article upon this subject in the Penny Magazine, for 1832, 
page 291. Decisive, we mean in proof of comets having no earthly influ- 


perative. Hence, necessity compels her to do these duties in 
order to avoid the pain which would attend upon their omission, 
as well as to enjoy the pleasure of their performance. This stim- 
ulus of necessity acts upon the Indian, who finds it necessary for 
his peace and comfort, to arise, tomahawk and scalping knife in 
hand, and revenge an injury by inflicting desolation, destruction, 
aud death, upon an enemy. 

This stimulus of necessity seems to be instinct, or the same 
kind of principle which is so called. It is as manifest in the 
vegetable as in the animal. But when we first heard such a kind 
of statement, we were incredulous, and felt a shock at its seeming 
absurdity. What we are now compelled to admit, to acknow- 
ledge as fact, seemed at first the greatest and most absurd of all 
falsehoods. But behold the grass in the low meadow, in time of 
drought, suffering just as much as the blade upon high hills ; and 
the reason is, upon dissection, or the examination of the roots of 
grasses and plants, that the roots in wet ground, run superficially, 
horizontally, whilst those in dry ground, run deep and perpen- 

Behold the young chicken, pecking the shell in which it is in- 
closed, and was hatched, in order to get out of prison. And be- 
hold the potatoe, which has sprouted and grown in the cellar, 
leaning, and always leaning its top towards the nearest window, 
or nearest door, in search of light, air and liberty. The turnip 
top, the onion top, and other vegetables, which send forth stems, 
shoots and sprouts, in cellars, do the same. They all incline to- 
wards light, air, warmth, and liberation. They always incline 
from the walls of their prison, they never embrace the cellar walls. 

This stimulus of necessity is, as John Hunter explains it, such 
an alternation, or motion, or change of posture, as a system, or 
part of a system, is uneasy without, and requires. Thus we gasp 
for breath, we faint, we walk, stand, sit, talk, or are silent, all 
from this stimulus of necessity. We expire the air inhaled, and 
for the space of a clock tick or two, we rest, without breath- 
ing, and then this stimulus of necessity, rises over rest and 
repose, and we breathe again ; and upon our breathing again, de- 
pends our life, for we die without it. Hence, this stimulus of 
necessity, acts whilst we sleep ; it keeps up breathing, for a person 


asleep, who does not breathe, is dead. It keeps up the beating 
of the heart, and the beating of the pulse, for a pulseless person 
is a corpse. 

We do not act by will whilst we sleep, but the breathing, the 
pulse, the motion of the ribs, in respiration, the motion of the 
lungs, inhaling and expiring the air, the receiving of the blood into 
the ventricles, or hollows of the heart, and the propulsion of it 
into the arteries, all arise from this stimulus of necessity, and life 
depends upon it. 

§ 4. There is in all living beings a wish to live, and a propen- 
sity to sustain life. As to the mind, will, or thinking part, this 
propensity manifests itself in voluntary acts of self preservation. 
But the intimate connection betwixt mind and matter, between 
the corporeal and mental systems, is here strikingly portrayed, 
for the motions of the frame, the movements of the body which 
are involuntary, have the same self preserving tendency. Hence 
parts corporeal, over which the mind has no control, carry on ac- 
tions calculated to sustain and to preserve ; such as producing an 
appetite for food, digesting it when taken, turning it into chyle 
when digested, and conveying that chyle, which is the milk of 
life, into the blood ; sending the blood, by means of the motion of 
the heart, into thousands of little canals, called arteries, to every 
part of the body, to nourish it, to promote its growth, and to sup- 
ply the defects, caused by decay, and disease, and disaster ; for 
even a broken bone grows together, by means of the finer parts 
of the blood, sent by little hair-like, or capillary channels, which 
even enter, pervade, and sustain, the hardest bones. But this 
sanative tendency, is in one respect extremely curious, for it 
sends fluids to certain parts without any traceable pathway, or 
any kind of canal whatever ; and sometimes in this way, rids the 
system of purulent, and other hurtful matters. 

The roots of the first set of teeth in children, are absorbed and 
cast off, and the jaws thus fitted to receive a new set ; whereas, if 
nature sent forward a new set without removing the old roots, the 
most painful and disastrous consequences would ensue. Some- 
times nature does halt and fail in doing her duty and accustomed 
work, however ; as we once drew a painful tooth from the lower 


jaw of a boy, which was so firmly rooted that another physician 
had given it up, after having tried in vain to extract it. To the 
solid roots of this tooth, the soft rudiments of a new tooth were 
attached ; the new comer having determined to move in, before 
the old occupant had removed out, or made any preparation so 
to do. 

The sympathetic attributes of the mind, are inherited by the 
body. Pain is endured by seeing a child, or an animal suffer, 
and by the news of piracy, shipwreck, or other disaster. So the 
teeth are set on edge by hearing sounds of a certain kind, and the 
mouth made to water at the sight of some delicious viand or fruit. 
And the stomach is made sick by tartar emetic, although not ap- 
plied directly to it, but at a remote point. The effects of this 
medicine, in sickening the stomach, for which it has an intrinsic 
propensity, is worthy of notice, as it may remove disease and even 
save life, as it did in the following instance. 

A woman in London, was choked by a large piece of potatoe, 
which lodged in the sesophagus, or passage from the mouth to the 
stomach. Nothing therefore could be swallowed. An emetic so 
urgently needed, could not be got down. Three hours had elaps- 
ed, and no means of relief had been found, when a vein was 
opened, in the arm, the ulnar vein. A solution of tartar emetic 
was made by dissolving three grains of it in an ounce of water. 
Of this solution one fourth part was injected into the vein, which 
by producing vomiting relieved the suffocating patient immedi- 

This affinity of a medicine for a particular part, is exemplified 
in mercury ; for if a mercurial ointment be rubbed into the soles 
of the feet it will be carried to the mouth, render it tender, and 
increase the saliva, and is smelt in the breath. 

The blood is found to contain not only iron but sulphur also ; 
the latter existing in that part of the blood which resembles the 
white of an egg^ and hence is called albumen. The peculiar 
effects of some medicines, and the phenomena of some diseases, 
may be referred to the existence of iron and sulphur in the blood. 
It also contains a very small proportion of soda. 

The strength of animals which have red blood, may be referred 
to the iron which it contains. And to increase the strength of 


weakly persons, there is no better medicines than chalybeates, or 
those which contain some preparation of iron or steel. Food sus- 
tains the blood, and blood sustains the body. In the blood is 
life, and the blood itself is alive, and is the only known living 
fluid, except we include some secreted matters, which emanate 
from the blood. 

It is a curious fact in the history of animal nature, that some 
things, or at least one ingredient which supports the blood, poisons 
the air, so that if it is largely breathed, it is noxious, or fatal. 
We here alude to azote, septon, or mephitic air, which is so uni- 
versal in alimentary substances, that no animal is capable of liv- 
ing long upon articles of food from which it is entirely absent. 
This was proved by a French chemist and physician, M. Magen- 
die, who fed animals upon substances containing no azote, which 
after a while pined away, had an ulcer in their eye, and died. 
He gave them distilled water for drink,* and fed them upon sugar, 
gum, butter, and olive oil, which articles contain no azote. Azote, 
therefore, seems to be a natural condiment, but a condiment 
only ; like salt, which animals cannot live without, and cannot 
live upon. 

Some animals take in seeds, and the kernels of fruits for food, 
from which the powers of digestion extract the nutritive oil, but 
the kernel is evacuated whole, so that it will grow afterward. It 
is thus that the wild olive is produced in France by means of 
birds. Turkies, about Marseilles, have been fed upon ripe olives, 
and the evacuated seed, or kernels, with the manure, collected and 
placed in layers of earth, from which young olive trees sprang. 
It is found that the kernel in passing through the bird, is deprived 
of its oil, and thus receives the vegetating moisture of the earth 
the more readily, and becomes more vigorous ; whilst the animal 
is nourished by the oil it extracts. A similar effect may however 
be probably obtained, by placing the kernel in the lye of wood 
ashes, or a solution of potash. 

The plants found on coral islands, are propagated by seeds, 
brought in the bodies of birds. For every bird has no internal 

* As water contains little animals in abundance, the distilling it kills them. 
Hence Magendie's whole mischief. 


-mill, in which to grind the corn and kernels which they swallow, 
to which, in others, the gizzard answers. Were this the case, 
and did not the gizzard sometimes fail of destroying the texture 
of grain and of seeds, the propagation of plants could not be 
achieved by birds, as the germinating principle would be de- 

§ 5. It is remarkable, and perhaps there is hardly a more 
striking disparity in man, that some nations and tribes, as the 
Chinese, the hordes of gipsies, and the inhabitants of that part of 
Africa about the mouth of Orange river, regard the smell of putre- 
fying meat as a perfume, and relish it more highly as it ap- 
proaches putrefaction ; whilst other nations, and the greater part 
of mankind, are disgusted with food having any tendency towards 
a taint. And that the latter have appetites the most congenial to 
nature, and nature's laws, would seem proved by the stomach 
restoring such nauseous and fetid articles, to an entire state of 
sweetness. This is done by a juice formed and found in the 
stomach. It is a liquid, and which liquid is the principal agent in 
dissolving and digesting the food. 

The stomach of a dog, as was ascertained by the repeated ex- 
periments of Dr. Fordyce, would sweeten in a short time-, the 
most putrid meat, which the dog could be made to swallow. 
This experiment may be tried by fastening the meat to be swal- 
lowed, with a string, and after a certain time withdrawing it from 
the dog's stomaeh. 

This remarkable stomach liquor, called the gastric juice, has 
therefore the power of arresting mortification. And by making 
certain carnivorous birds swallow sponge, and then by means of 
a string withdrawing it, and then squeezing out this juice, a suffi- 
cient quantity of it has been obtained to be applied to bad sores 
and ulcers upon the human body. It may be considered a power- 
ful remedy in arresting the progress of mortification ; especially 
if aided by bark and opium internally exhibited, at the same time. 
As it is the principal agent in digestion, it has been sometimes 
administered internally in cases of weak stomach, and dyspepsia. 

The solvent powers of the gastric juice, were remarkably ex- 
emplified in the fellow, who out of hardihood swallowed seventeen 


clasp-knives ; the handles being found partly dissolved, and the 
edges of the knives blunted, after his death ; for he died in conse- 
quence. That such a powerful solvent should not dissolve the 
stomach itself, is a startling query. And that such is sometimes 
the case when the stomach suddenly loses its energy, whilst the 
gastric juice retains its full vigor, cannot be controverted. But it 
is wisely ordained that it does not act upon living, as it does upon 
dead matters ; which is proved by leeches and snakes having been 
accidentally swallowed in water, and having lived and rapidly 
grown, in the stomach ; and also by the generation and growth 
of intestinal worms, which the gastric juice does not affect until 
they are dead. 

Still, it is to be considered, that when a part of the stomach 
loses its vitality, that it may be eroded and ulcerated. And we 
hence account for the appearances discovered in the stomach of 
Buonaparte, which were imputed to cancer. Depression of mind, 
and loss of spirits, have a great effect upon the stomach, in under- 
mining its digestive powers. Buonaparte, after having been 
precipitated from the throne of Europe on to a secluded island, 
and from an Emperor becoming a prisoner, we may well suppose, 
labored under the depressing passions, in a high degree ; espe- 
cially, as he was separated from a young wife and infant son; 
from the most brilliant city and fascinating society in the world ; 
that of Paris. 

But let the cause be what it may, it is only when the solvent 
powers of the gastric juice are diminished, that we can expect to 
ever hear of cherry-stones, or plumb-stones, sprouting in the 
stomach or bowels. Such instances have rarely, and but rarely, 
ever happened ; the intestinal canal being then reduced to a state 
similar to that of other cavities of the body, in which there never 
was any gastric juice. And we may mention that we have our- 
selves extracted a bean from a child's nose, which had begun to 
germinate, it having been lodged there for the space of a fortnight. 
We had another patient, a poor fellow who often had fits, and who 
was seized with an incessant puking, which nothing could stop or 
control, till he threw up the cause. This proved to be a tadpole, 
an inch and a quarter long, which in drinking at a muddy spring 
the day before, he had swallowed. 


The saliva of the mouth, sufficiently resembles the gastric juice, 
and appears, when swallowed, to have the like effect, and to assist 
in dissolving the food. It is from this circumstance that those 
who chew tobacco freely, and who spit lavishly, are liable to indi- 
gestion and dyspepsia. And it may be owing to something having 
been noticed of the resolvent powers of the saliva, that a popular 
remedy for carrying away and discussing tumors, consists in 
wetting them with fasting spittle. 

The bile in men and mammals* is yellow when healthy, and 
is a powerful assistant in digestion. After the gastric juice has 
dissolved the food, the bile precipitates the offal, or fecal matters, 
or those parts which cannot with propriety and salubrity enter the 
blood vessels, and mix with the blood. These, with itself, are 
thrown out together as useless to the body, but retain the color of 
the bile. That the bile does not enter the lacteals, is owing to 
their closing their delicate and irritable mouths, when touched by 
its acrimony. But intemperance may destroy this delicate touch 
of the lacteals, and absorbents, so that they may admit the bile, 
and turn the wine-bibber yellow. This we have often known. 
Diseases may produce the like effect ; hence the yellowness of the 
skin and eyes in jaundice. In some diseased states of the system, 
the bile may become black. And in a man who had an ulcer in 
his side, in the region of the liver, from which the bile discharged 
outwardly, it Avas yellow when he was good natured, but if he 
suddenly became angry, the bile as suddenly became green. As 
he was of a passionate temperament, his friends had frequent 
opportunities of witnessing this curious phenomenon. 

The bile of the cuttle-fish, is supposed by Dr. Monro, to be 
naturally black. For this fish, when it is pursued by an enemy, 
discharges a black liquor, which so darkens the water, that under 
the shades of its own night, it escapes its pursuers. We have an 
opinion, however, that this black color is the result of terror, or of 
anger, and that the bile of the fish is not naturally black. At 
any rate there is no disagreement upon one point, which is, that 
it is the means which nature has afforded it, of self preservation, 
and that it voluntarily ejects this black liquor, to protect itsel 1 
and escape destruction, by darkening the waters. 

* Animals which nurse their young by milk, are called mammals. 


The bile may act as natural physic. By its antiseptic qualities, 
it may prevent gangrene in the bowels and fermentation in the 
food ; and it may convert the mucus, or refuse matter of the chyle, 
which is not good enough to be mixed with the blood, and yet too 
good to be cast away, into fat ! 

This last effect may be performed in that part of the alimentary 
canal which is situated transversely, and which is called the colon. 
And the use of the omentum, and its action, are thus placed in 
the neighborhood of light, where they are considered as absorbing 
and retaining this fatty matter, thus formed ; whereas, darkness 
has long reigned over this whole region of the human body. 

It is thus that systems have their minute subdivisions, so nicely, 
so minutely constructed, that their uses have puzzled many men 
of science. The spleen, is especially one of those parts, which 
having no duct, or outlet, has much been an object of speculation 
and inquiry. Let it be considered that nature formed it as one of 
her exuberant benefices, which is of less every day use than 
many other parts. But in sickness, in those raging and sweeping 
epidemics, which like plague, yellow fever, and cholera, carry off 
their thousands, and scores of thousands, it may, by being a 
reservoir for bad blood, contribute to preserve some lives from the 
general wreck and ruin. The impure, black, and if we may be 
allowed the term, menstruous, or uncoagulable parts of the blood, 
being secreted from the general mass, by the spleen, and retained 
in it, which if suffered to pervade the whole volume of blood,- or if 
suffered to annoy the more noble viscera, would, in such sickly 
seasons, be still more destructive of human life. And agreeably 
to this theory, the spleen is actually found to contain a dark livid 
colored blood, which will not coagulate readily, if at all. Blood 
which coagulates, it may be remarked, is the only healthy blood. 
It is thus that providence provides for the security of a part, at 
least, of the human family, amidst the greatest, the most immense 
devastations. But let it be considered further, in relation to the 
spleen, that it is connected by immediate coaptation with the 
stomach ; and that the stomach is the centre of universal sympa- 
thy to the whole body, and its appetites, aversions, and senses — a 
sickness of that organ being produced by loathsome sights and 
fetid smells ; a puking, from a blow on the head ; a faintness from 


pain, even of a part so distant as a finder or a toe ; and indiges- 
tion and loss of appetite, from a piece of bad news, or the sight of 
a house on fire. A part which has such universal sympathies, 
ought to have an adjunct at hand, to sustain it, and to contain 
every drop of bad blood, which its substance, or its vessels, might 
contain. And such it has in the spleen. Such is the spleen to 
the stomach. 

§ 6. The most mysterious part of physiology, as it relates to 
the human voice, is the art of the ventriloquist, who utters sounds 
without moving the lips or cheeks, or breathing through the 
mouth.* This is almost as strange as a statement lately made, 
of an unborn infant having been heard to make a whining noise ; 
and is another kind of ventriloquism ! 

That curious part of animal machinery, the glottis, must here 
be studied in order to develope this intricacy of ventriloquism. 
And after all, the voice of the ventriloquist, seeming to emanate 
from another body besides his own, is not void of mystery, and 
would seem to demand some other explanation than the usual one, 
that sound consists aloae in the vibrations of the air. A stone 
thrown into water, several fathoms deep, may be heard to emit a 
sound, when it strikes another stone at the bottom. How then 
can sound be made to depend upon the agitation of air, when it 
travels through water ? 

Again, as in borborygm, or a rumbling in the bowels of animals, 
it would seem impossible for the air to be put into vibration exter- 
nally, by so obscure and confined a motion. And the beating of 
the heart, which is secured and covered by the walls of the thorax, 
and strictly inclosed in an air-tight sac, called the pericardium, 
may still be distinctly in some, and even in a great many instan- 
ces, heard to beat plainly. 

§ 7. We once had a patient, and her case was a very singular 
and obscure complaint in the head, who upon moving it in a cer- 
tain manner, could produce a snap beneath the scalp, probably 
occasioned by the motion of some bone of the cranium having been 

* Dr. Good. See his Physiological Proem to Class 11. 


loosened by her long disease. And yet she had no dropsy internal 
nor external of the part. And that any bone could possibly have 
been loosened, considering their security by sutures, and not by 
joints, is* not easy to comprehend. It gave her some uneasiness to 
do it, but I convinced myself by repeated examinations, of this sin- 
gular fact, which I can account for in no other way than by suppo- 
sing that the sutures around a piece of one of the parietal bones 
had become loosened ; and that it still adhered to the dura-mater 
internally, and to the scalp externally, and that the motion of the 
head so moved the bone, as to make the noise. She died after an 
illness of more than twenty years, aged fifty. No examination 
was made after death, which is very much to be regretted. 

But in relation to the subject of sounds, the query still recurs, 
how, upon the Newtonian theory, it could put the air in motion, 
externally, so as to reach the drum of the ear, when the cause 
may have been beneath the bones of the skull, and was, at any 
rate, within the thick scalp or skin of the head, well covered with 
a fine head of hair. 

If we are not entirely in the dark, and at sea, upon this subject, 
our theory is hardly sufficiently matured to be entered upon just 
now. We will only just hint, that sound appears to be a peculiar 
volatile substance, thrown off by concussion, and that this sub- 
stance meets another, which is constantly formed and emitted by 
the internal ears of those who can hear. Whilst in those that are 
deaf, the ear has lost the power of secreting and emitting the audi- 
tory rays of hearing, and therefore does not hear. 

If sound be not substance, why should thunder shake the house, 
several seconds after the lightning has been seen, and which has 
disappeared without making our domicil tremble t And if the 
ear does not secrete and emit auditory rays, how should deaf per- 
sons hear, by holding a pipe or wire in their mouths, one end of 
which rests upon a harpsichord ; which wire answers as a substi- 
tute to the auditory rays, or lines, which are not formed by the 
ears of deaf persons. If sound was alone a concussion of the air, 
why should a pipe, or a wire, or a stick, or a log, conduct it? It 
is easy to see that the Newtonian theory cannot be maintained, 
whatever substitute it may eventually have. 


§ 8. We are ready and willing to admit, that Sir Walter 
Scott has settled all the points in novel writing. All love stories, 
and romance matters, have, therefore, no need of any new en- 
chanter to try to settle what is settled already. We have wonder- 
ed to see attempts, upon a mean scale, which have already been 
exhausted upon a magnificent one. Yet so the world and its 
matters stand, that he who loves now, thinks that no one ever 
knew of love before. 

As he who prognosticates evil, seldom proves to be a false 
prophet, so he that talks of love, can always gain hearers. But 
of science no prophet prophecies, because it is a thing of profound 
investigation and practical experiment ; and he who talks of it, 
will often find the bare walls his only auditors ; and walls not like 
those of Paris, which are said to have ears — he will have no 
listeners under the windows, nor behind the arras. 

As we have mentioned the subject of sound, the query arises, 
how, if sound only arises from a concussion in the air, why it 
happens, that a muslin night cap, if it happens to be tied over the 
ear, or a silk cravat, when tied round the neck, if tied so high as 
to touch the ear, causes a disagreeable teasing sound, which in- 
duces the person to alter the situation of those articles of dress, 
before he can either sleep or study. This we have often experi- 
enced in our own person. 

A bug, which flew into a lady's ear in the evening, caused a 
sound, as she described it, more terrific than the loudest thunder. 
She painted the sensations which it caused as intolerable, but 
more from the noise than from any absolute pain. A candle 
being raised near the ear, in order to examine it, the bug, attract- 
ed by the light, flew out, to her great relief. In such, or similar 
cases, a feather dipped in honey and introduced into the ear, will 
stop the buzzing, and may extract the insect, or any other extrane- 
ous substance,°such as a shot, pea, or kernel of grain, which 
children sometimes introduce. Where the substance does not 
adhere to thin honey, that which is thickened by age, or candy 
may be used in stead. Oils, that are tenacious, or balsams, may 
be tried where honey is not at hand- This lady thought she 
should have gone crazy, had she not been soon relieved, by the 
remeval of the bug. 


Apoplexy is the disease of great men. It is very prone to at- 
tack people as they are about to get into a vehicle of conveyance, 
or to mount a horse. Sheriff Abbe died suddenly in this way, in 
Connecticut ; so did Mr. Jonathan Little, of the city of New York • 
so did his Hon. Judge Bristol of New Haven ; and so did Mr. 
Kirk Boot, at Lowell, Massachusetts. Mr. Boot was the founder 
of Lowell. 

§ 9. Wherever we find Christianity, we find mercy, except 
where we find Christians arrayed in hostility against each other. 
We have now before us an account from Mexico, of the Monks 
having arrested the arm aimed at murdering all foreigners. We 
are pleased to hear, that those who show any signs of life so sel- 
dom as these lazy monks, show it in a good cause. 

Good thoughts are like good land, implanted, unseeded, un- 
tilled. The land may be good, but it is, when it produces nothing, 
good for nothing. 

These Monks had the good soil of the Christian religion about 
them, and when it bore fruit, it yielded an hundred fold, although 
it Ions before had lain fallow. 

Seneca said, that he should rather be sick and confined to his 
bed, than unemployed. But either confinement or pain is to be 
preferred to employment in vexatious, and perplexing, and uncer- 
tain lawsuits. When justice costs more than it is worth, it is best 
not to buy it. This, however, relates to legal justice. Moral 
justice is of another kind, and must be had at all events, even if 
ever so dearly bought. 

§ 10. There is not a better commentary upon worldly wisdom 
than this, that Rehoboam was the son of Solomon, and that the 
wise man himself died an idolator. 

Voltaire tells us, that he that is beloved by a beautiful woman, 
has nothing to fear. He ought, notwithstanding, to have remem- 
bered Solomon, and to have feared of becoming an idolator, or a 
bundle of eccentricities, by female influence. * 

Adam Clarke, speaks of an old author, who says " knowledge 
that is not applying, is only like a candle which a man holds to 
light himself to hell." 


Worldly wisdom, however great, cannot be trusted to construct 
a candle for itself, which shall light the road to heaven ; and it is 
a curious fact in human history, that those who enjoy the extreme 
of prosperity, or suffer the extremity of adversity, are seldom 
found in that road. The former fly, and the latter sink, into for- 
bidden paths. 

An Irish woman said of her pretty little daughter, that it was 
not for the want of bating, she was so bad ; and this might be 
true, and much beating may have been the very reason why she 
was so bad. Harsh and cruel punishments, degrade both old and 
young, below the paths of duty. The Quakers, who dispense 
with all punishments, are a very moral people. They are very 
careful not to do the devil's drudgery for him, that of punishing. 
This they leave him to do for himself. There are some persons 
who spend so much time in talking about reforming the world, 
that they never do any thing at all towards reforming it, or them- 
selves. If every one takes care to reform one, the world will be 

There are some persons in the world who pray without devo- 
tion, and sin without sensibility. The man who exhibited his 
knees callous, by the time and times which he had spent on them 
in prayer, displayed the same desire for notoriety, as did the Phar- 
isee, who prayed standing at the corner of the streets. Those 
who pray in secret, do not tell of it in public, nor show their cal- 
lous knees as a sign of devotion, in private. 

When men run after new things, their prejudices do not always 
run with them ; and when they find that one new thing does not 
comport with their old prejudices, they throw it aside, and away 
they fly after another, which they hope to find better suiting them. 
It is thus that prejudice, like Scotch grapes, is seldom quite ripe ; 
and if ever ripe, it is ripe out of season, and only ripe in error 
and sourness. The man of prejudice and gloom, is for violence 
in politics, and intolerance in religion. Such think little of the 
fragility of the human frame. That half a bushel of bullets may 
be shot into the left side of an enemy, without killing him, he is 
willing to admit, but as to himself, he will believe that the flash of 
an unloaded pistol has endangered his life. Like Herod, illiberal 
prejudice will poison the air of an infant's cradle ; and for fear of 


being poisoned himself, he will murder the infant, and the whole 
Holy Land of infants. 

One of the very greatest of all modern writers,* says of the 
theory of Gall and Spurzheim, that it is too ridiculous even to be 
laughed at. We merely speak here, to give our opinion of one of 
the greatest of writers, and of two of the greatest of fools ; and 
yet the latter are ten times as popular as the former, and twenty 
times as often mentioned. 

§11. It is a curious fact that in lately opening a British tumuli 
of antiquity, that some small seeds were discovered in the region 
of the stomach of a skeleton, which must have been eaten and 
lain two thousand years. Some of these seeds were planted by 
Professor Lindley, which germinated, produced briers, and this 
briery shrub, produced fruit, which proved to be the common 

A painful industry is necessary, in order to lay before a reader 
what it is important for him to see. An author must, therefore, 
lean against a pyramid, if he would not fall, and be regular as the 
sun, if he would shine at all. 

A great city is a place for notoriety, display, and a luminous 
evolution of such talents as a man possesses, let them be of what- 
ever kind they may ; or, on the other hand, it may be a cover for 
individual obscurity, and a retreat, uninterrupted, and dark as 
a dungeon, for such as do not wish to be known, sought, or 
heard of. 

The reckless, the idle, and the profligate, like the Italian no- 
bleman, who turned gambler, and became murderer, when con- 
fined in prison, and a halter awaited him, refer their misery to the 
withholding of their friends — friends who have assisted them with 
their substance, advised them, prayed, wept, and suffered all but 
death and destitution for them. 

"When Napoleon was dealing out crowns, mitres, and batons, 
his heart was wrung, his sensibilities aroused, his life endangered, 
and he called a monster, because he would not deal out more of 
the same materials. 

* See Lacon, page 74. 


The honesty of policy — the departure from principles profess- 
ed — of creeds once admitted, and of dogmas once firmly embra- 
ced, maybe defended, as Mustapha defended his departure from 
Christianity, to Mahomedanism, to save his life. He thought it 
better to trust a merciful God with his soul, than unmerciful 
wretches with his body. This was his defence to his friends for 
turning Mahometan. 

No man ever started as a teacher of truth, without informing 
his pupils that he himself was still an inquirer after it. 

§ 12. Has the soul changed its seat t We have spoken of 
persons with two souls. Rachel Baker had a waking soul of no 
extraordinary powers. There was nothing in the young woman 
of any striking import. She was rather retiring in her manners, 
unsociable, unobtrusive, unaspiring, unassuming. But in her 
sleep, her sleeping soul had a wonderful, a marvellous, a prepon- 
derating, an overwhelming, pre-eminence — a pre-eminence which 
towered over all her living cotemporaries, in prayer and praise, 
and over her waking self, in all things relating to Christ, Chris- 
tians, and Christianity.* There is no form of prayer, no formula 
of exhortation, no forms of expression, relating to the Christian 
system, so exalted as hers, since St. Paul the apostle. 

But has the soul changed its seat, and does it alternate between 
the head and heart ? The Bible— the law, prophets, evangelists, 
apostles, and epistles, all refer the soul to the heart. The thoughts 
of his heart were evil continually, is in the first book of the Bible, 
and St. Paul has told us that out of the heart proceed murmur- 
ings ; whilst all the modern creation, Christian, Jewish, Pagan, 
Mahomedan, and Papistical, refer the thoughts of man, not to the 
Jieart, but to the head; and with them join all men of medicine, 
physicians, physiologists, surgeons, practitioners, prescribers, 
anatomists, and even apothecaries. 

Such being the case, the startling proposition of a person with 
two souls, is to be met and matched, with the paramount authori- 
ty of the soul being seated in two places ; or according to the re- 
ligious ancients, inhabiting the heart, and according to the Chris- 

* We should transcribe, but we observe that the copy right is secured. 


tian moderns, inhabiting the head. If, therefore, the science of 
double souls is new, the double seat of the soul may be alleged as 
a doctrine of very great antiquity. The antiques on one side, re- 
ferring the soul to the heart, and on the other to the head. 

§ 13. To be neither believed, rewarded, nor praised here, is 
often the fate of him who does a disinterested act of virtue ; and 
what ef futurity? what of an hereafter'? Why, he who boasts 
of his benevolence, is to lose, in a coming world, all recompence 
there also. Alms-giving, and deeds of charity, must, therefore, 
be only published to the world by the receiver, not at all by the 

§ 14. A man may have physical courage, judicial courage, 
and lion-hearted courage, without knowing any thing of that 
moral courage, which fortifies the soul, and especially the female 
soul, against adversity. 

§ 15. It is one of the astonishing things of the world, to see 
and to hear the aspirations of pride and ambition — ambition of 
great debts — pride of being bound for great houses — liabilities for 
contracts, more than the surety or principal is able to pay — talk- 
ing of tens of thousands as mere trifles, such are some of the 
displays of pride ; and it may be added that such kind of fame, 
as that derived from being bound for great houses, will establish 
a man's financial credit. 

§ 16. There are those who sail the crystal seas in search, pre- 
tendedly, for heaven, who are yet very careful not to lose their 
sight of land. Spiritual things are always in their mouths, but 
temporal things forever present in their acts, and apparently up- 
permost in their hearts. Saints on Sunday, and demons on 

§ 17. Notwithstanding the variety of anecdotes which have 
been given of Buonaparte, and the great number of commenta- 
tors who have written of Shakspeare, every emanation from 
either source, comes freighted with wisdom. They were charac- 


ters who banished folly from their personal atmosphere. Wise 
men have their follies, and brave men their fears. The excep- 
tions are so few, that Shakspeare and Napoleon are the more 
worthy of notice. And in this connection, it is worth considera- 
tion, that the greatest writer in the English language, knew no 
other language than the English. 

§ 18. The most enchanting, the most fascinating beauties, 
change in the features and modes of their charms, but are still 
forever charming. There are other beauties, like April days. 
They have bright suns, but clouds and showers of rain, range so 
near in their neighbourhood, that a change of the weather for the 
worse, is ever to be apprehended. How wrung and how twisted 
has been the heart of him, who has left one of these fairy forms, 
in angel smiles, with cherub eyes, and an elysian atmosphere 
around her, to meet her the very next time, looking like a fallen 
angel — sullen and pouting, nobody could guess for what, and her- 
self unable to tell. Such are the disasters of love. 

Red earth, of which man was made, and which, according k> 
Josephus, is the purest of all, irrigated with blood, breezed with 
blushes, variegated with lily Avhite, moving like the gazelle, 
shining like the beams of the morning, in all the glory of the 
East, such is a beautiful woman. Still, it is the spirit alone, 
which enlivens the female countenance divine, with beams of 
heavenly bliss. It is the spirit that keeps this beautiful mansion 
of blushes, swept and garnished. It is a spirit, a mind, a soul, 
controlled, cultivated, expanded, but always adapted to the varie- 
gated varieties of times, seasons, and ciroumstances, that consti- 
tutes the summit of excellence, the acme of perfection in woman. 
Where such a spirit reigns, its fair possessor is sure to gain, and 
sure to keep, the world in admiration. If such an one pelts, she 
does not pout, and her peltings are with guineas ; the golden 
surfaces of which, cures all the wounds which their edges had 

Relations and lovers take the most liberties, but render the best 
assistance. The eye of a relation is never shut closely, and the 
eye of a lover is never shut at all ; and the hands of both are 
prone to be opened according to their ability. 



Lacon, thinks that women with reason somewhat weaker than 
men, have passions somewhat stronger. We think that it must 
be a special pleader with a great fee, to so contend, and a preju- 
diced judge, with a brilliant bribe, to so decide. There never lived 
a woman who was not inclined to virtue once, nor never did she 
deviate, when the fault existed wholly in herself. 

There is a vulgar, uneducated, inexperienced, reckless set of 
boobies in the world, who always talk of women contrary to all, 
that mothers, wives, sisters, or lovers, or daughters, ever justified, 
or that can be sanctioned by those who have studied with fidelity 
the female character. 

It is true that when women fall, they fall like Lucifer ; and it is 
for that very reason, that there are comparatively few that fall. 
A great many women become the objects of slander, by the viru- 
lence of the few who trip, of their own sex, and by the large 
number of the other sex who are foiled. There are to be sure, 
women in the world, who have no virtue now, but they can only 
be considered as the relics of virtue that once existed. We can 
hardly contemplate Christianity without contemplating women in 
its connection. 

" Each conquest owing to some loose advance," 

was a line written by Lady Mary Wortley Montague, of her own 
sex. But we do not believe her ladyship, for, indeed, we know 
better, as does every one who has had much experience with the 


§ 19. Envy and love, and delight and despair, 

Are passions that ever are hankering — where ? 

A very dark cloud now happens to blind, 

Quite shutting the light from what we would find. 

Distinctness of vision is lost by the eyes, 

That keep not their ken on the sex and the size. 

There are millions of eyes, for thousands of years, 

Which have took in the light, and paid out the tears. 

Who has not seen air, as 'tis flitting away, 

O'er a heated stove, on a cold winter's d; y ? 

He who has seen air, which is not to be seen, 

May now without doubt, discern what we mean. 


And that indefinable thing he may find, 

Which no one e'er knew, but is called woman's mind ! 

Distinguished is not, all that is in sight, 

The eye not itself can discern by the light. 

Sick persons who pick at their bed-clothes, suppose 

Intruders are there, to blast their repose. 

There are some so corrupt in sin and in lies, 

The devil can scarce make worse if he tries. 

A melodious voice is ever on wing, 

As sunshine and flowers develope the spring. 

§ 20. A lantern composed of little brass wire, 
Will take up the heat of its candle on fire, 
And so nullify flame, that fire-damp and gas, 
Will not be ignited though round it they pass. 
He who has a mind, may liken this scene, 
To her who is sitting at home as a queen, 
But sends not her flames abroad like a gale, 
To conquer, or flutter, or wreck the heart's sail. 
Tho' in are the flames, the full glare of light, 
Is out, and abroad, dispelling the night. 
The light of the lamp enlightens the mine, 
Yet heats not, nor burns not, contented to shine.* 

$ 21. The thorns of our lives are ten to the roses, 
Then less the regret when death interposes. 
Yet Km whilst you live— was the preacher's award, 
And who that is wise, will this disregard ? 

§ 22. Join not with your friend, when he censures hie wife, 
Unless they 're about to be parted for life. 
Nor question his watch for the true time of day, 
Nor dispraise his horse, unless bargained away. 
Unsafe is the conquest that conquers a friend, 
More safe are the boons which to ingrates extend. 

§ 23. In the annals of time we hear of ripe grain, 
Descending from heaven like copious rain.f 

- The safety lamp of the miners, was the invention of Sir Humphrey -D** 
and is by them called a Davy. The fire ** was sometimes exploded w th 
terrible violence and destruction of life, by carrying a naked candle 
This is now prevented by a wire-gauze cage, or lantern, closing a.lamp. A 
verv ereat discovery, is thus simple. Some of the gas w.ll enter the bra s 
Zlamp or gauJlage, and be consumed the.ein ; but the flame „ so cooled 
by the cage that it will not explode the fire-damp without. 

t Chinese fable. 


And what was the cause of joy thus displayed, 

That eorn was sent down without culture or blade ? 

'T was not that the laws below were complete, 

'T was not that for praise, many mortals might meet, 

Nor yet for that splendid and glorious cause, 

That wrested the world from barbarous laws ; 

'T was not that cities were built and supplied, 

That marshes were drained; state* and empires allied ; 

But this was the cause, this truth was presented, 

That writing and printing were now first invented ! 

'Twas at this, that heaven and earth were elated, 

And mortals towards gods became elevated. 

The joy of the heavens to earth was expanded, 

To rain down the wheat, the clouds were commanded. 

Mankind, before rough, unpolished, and rude, 

Were now with the means of improvement endued, 

A winged intercourse, by paper and letter, 

Made knowledge and news, and science its debtor; 

Polite intercourse, and business and lover, 

How great was the gift ! they all soon discover. 

Now reason and justice, were taught and were spread, 

In regions from which their semblance had fled. 

The laws became fixed ; uncertain before, 

They floated like wrecks on the ocean's wide roar. 

The judge had his rules, by which to decide, 

The scholar his grammar, by which to abide ; 

Historians ground, on which they might stand, 

Astronomers stars, which came at command ; 

Logicians formed rules to reason aright, 

Which rhetoric ranged in a silver-tongued light ; 

Mathematics were fixed by figures and rules, 

And scholars had books, and masters had schools ; 

The first map was formed, and on paper the grounds, 

Of him who held land, might be known with its bounds ; 

All painted and gilded, on platters and vases, 

Were provinces traced, with lines in their places ; 

Next rules were devised, for the tongue and the throat, 

The gamut was formed, with the bar and the note ; 

At music sublime, pathetic and sweet, 

Confucius was charmed to forgetting to eat. 

When music was known, soon painting had place, 

With the colors, and lines, and looks of the face ;* 

* The Ghinese legends refer to the ancient monarch Yu, as having drained 
the waters of the deluge, and divided his empire into nine grand divisions, and 
one hundred and seventy-three kingdoms. All lying beyond these, were re- 



The all colored art, drew frowns, fears and smiles, 
Showing all but the heart, with its freaks and its wiles. 
The kingdom of Hades screamed out in affright, 
At sight of a world that could read and could write, 
All jangle and jargon, at once it was thought, 
With murder and theft, would now come to nought ; 
The prisons no more would groan with their loads, 
Of wretches all fit for infernal abodes ; 
The gambler, the quack, and the swearer who lied, 

Would now be no better than dogs that had died ; 

The dwellers infernal, exclaimed one and all, 

None ! none ! will come here, and our empire must fall ; 

But Satan undaunted, observed with a sneer, 

That writers would wrangle, and writs would appear. 

Had writing been not, the facts of the flood, 

Might be but a tale of a deluge of blood ; 

Of forty days rain of purple and gore, 

Which floated the ark, and the earth covered o'er J 

Of mountains which saw above them the dead, 

Afloat on a sea of carnation and red ; 

And when the winds blew, and when roared the flood, 

The dash of the waves and the spray, were of blood ; 

A roaring red sea, of unnatural sound, 

Like coffins let down into graves in the ground. 

Those clouds which hang over Nile's shores to tins day, 

Had writing been then, had been banished away ; 

•j .• ti.p nino jrrand departments had each a grand vase, 

g ardedasou, S .dcn«.»n, «££»™ n l dale , lhe boundaries, snbdivi, 

„p„„„h,ch wos >>7 e " y of , 1 h h e e ' m r P a „ ddeparlm e„t to which i. related. By 

■ons, and statical detade o( _tha gran ^ ^ ^^ ^^ 
this process, the boundaries ot the Kinguoms 

fixed and permanent. , basis of state . ri gl,i s 
Astronomy was ear.y culuva ted .n Ch.n., «d m ^ 

and ceremonies, as the -NJ^ ,„„ molions . The p hil „so- 
,n Us government, as were the heaven y ^ ^ thre(j 

pher Coccus was so rav.shed w.ih , £ cha he could have no 

months he did no, the rehsh o food d ^ fc ^ 

conception of -*P~ » --J^. J sounds , alld lhe science 
tional character of the Chinese, id* science of government. 

of music, is supposed tobe **£Z£££ZZ, no no,, h, this 

Tb r demdyD Tr^t Thf,l««i S even carried so far, , hat 
respect, come up to ho *c en . ^^ music ^^ „ 

^S I^ng r C— , - P— gunpowder, and paper. 
01 veryancie vn wor , d 

more ancient than in any omer pan 




Those mountains so grand, that they darken the air 
With glorious gloom,— who erected them there ? 
Not Moses has told ; nor the use nor the space ; 
All still are unknown, to history's disgrace. 
Ere writing was taught, or ere fell the flood, 
We ken that those wonderful pyramids stood ; 
When oxen were known as mammoths for size, 
And giants for men, to lift rocks to the skies, 
Five hundred feet high, such stones are there found, 
That modern men fail to move on the ground ;* 
And tho' round them now, vast deserts are seen, 
Before the flood washed on the sands, all was green : 
Those mountains of art, the world's greatest wonder, 
The deluge withstood, and earthquake and thunder, 
No element crash can engulphor derange, 
Or time's blasting hand, or barbarians change ; 
Defeated the power which avarice sent, 
Dismayed all the aid that the curious lent, 
Whilst Athens and Rome, have felt the fell crash, 
And low lie their columns by earthquake and flash. 

* Sir Robert Wilson. 



§ 1. The case of Rachel Baker, whose sleeping soul preach- 
ed excellent sermons, and made excellent prayers, but whose 
waking soul could do nothing of the kind, nor remember nothing 
that her sleeping soul had said or done, merits a further reference. 
It is one of those cases in which what is floating upon the mind, 
becomes concentrated, vivid and luminous, although whilst afloat, 
all was unsettled, and bore a nearer relation to darkness than to 
light. Every person has had ideas and sometimes very valuable 
ones, which have been in the clouds, until some accident, sugges- 
tion, or intense application, had brought them into a fixed and 
available position, state or situation. Reading, friends, fear, 
wine, joy, diseases, and sleep, may be adduced, as the most 
prominent agents in these developements of man, matter and 


It is discreditable to our taste in this country, that works 
of fancy and fiction, should supplant such an extraordinary case 
as that of Miss Baker. There are perhaps, few persons among 
us of mature years, who would not think it derogatory to them, 
to have it supposed that they were unacquainted with the novels 
of Sir Walter Scott ; yet here is a veritable account of a young 
woman, whose performances were more extraordinary than any 
thino- that Sir Walter Scott relates, and which is attested by some 


of the first characters* in the city of New York, and yet the case 
is known to but few. 

The cases of Nancy Hazard, Miss M'Evoy, Jane C. Rider, 
and Mrs. Cass, are if possible still more astonishing and curious. 
And they ought to be known to all, as opening a wide vista to the 
inmost recesses of the human mind. Nor can animal magnetism 
supersede them. 

Miss Baker was about twenty years old, when her extraordina- 
ry faculty of sleep-preaching, was displayed in New York. Al- 
though she denied that it was sleep, but insisted that she was wide 
awake, yet when aivake, she remembered nothing that had passed. 
Dr. Mitchell says, that in confirmation of her being awake, she 
on one occasion, described in vivid and glowing strains, the spec- 
tacle then bright in her view. This consisted of angels, saints, 
and the souls of just men made perfect. They were ministering 
before the throne of the Almighty, clothed in robes, white as 

Another remarkable particular, and strikingly indicative of the 
disparity between her two souls, was, that in the sermons of her 
sleep, she acted under the persuasion that it was the duty of those 
who are renewed by all merciful grace, to direct poor wanderers 
to the straight and narrow path ; and this doctrine she held in her 
sleeping conversation ; whilst at the same time, her waking belief 
was, that it was not apostolical for a woman to be a public 
preacher, or teacher in holy things. She had at about the age of 
fourteen, joined the Presbyterian church in Onondaga county, 
N. Y. ; but becoming uneasy in her mind, she about two years 
afterward, submitted to submersion, and became a member of the 
Baptist church. 

When she insisted that she was wide awake, her eyes were 
accurately closed, and there was no signs of winking, which 

* The account was drawn up by the Hon. Samuel L. Mitchell, M. D. Sena- 
tor in the Congress of the United States, and is attested by the following pro- 
fessional gentlemen, whose names and celebrity are sufficient to fix the stamp 
of truth and merit upon any publication or statement to which they are affixed. 
They are Doctors John H. Douglas, Joshua E. R. Birch, Valentine Mott, 
and Archibald Bruce. 


there frequently is, when persons in fits have their eyes shut, by a 
motion of the eye-lids, and a rolling of the eye-ball. 

It is a duty to relate facts which are involved in mystery, and 
for which we li'ay not be able to account ourselves, because others 
may be more penetrating, experienced or gifted, or successful 
than we ; and every one is interested in knowing the limits to 
which human nature extends, and the bounds beyond which it 
cannot pass, and the circle within which it is inclosed. Every 
one, therefore, ought to endeavour to make a mark on the world 
which shall last, and be remembered, and noticed for its useful- 
ness, of some sort or other, after the world is no longer of any 
use to him. 

A memento or a monument may be lasting, if it is not large. 
There are few men who ought not to have written a sentence, and 
there are few men who ought ever to have written a book. 

O ! that mine enemy would write a book, was a sentiment 
uttered by one of the old patriarchs, who wished that his enemy 
would do something which would place him in such an attitude, 
that he could not injure the world, nor himself. 

That the seeds of ideas may be planted in the human mind, and 
at first be as much out of sight as seeds covered with earth, and 
planted in the ground, but that they may afterwards spring up as 
the seed does, into a visible, and beautiful, and organized sub- 
stance, is what we must admit. 

It is reported that the house of Rachel Baker's father was 
opened, and that frequently, to itinerant preachers. And that she 
might have caught those expression^ which floated on her sleep- 
ing mind, until they ripened, and were sent forth, in such strains 
of eloquence, system, and pathos, as are not exceeded by the 
writings of the greatest divines, is the conclusion which we have 
arrived at, after maturely considering this curious case. Most ex- 
traordinary it surely is, that she, when awake, retained nothing of 
them, and that when asleep, or in a state of somnambulism, that 
the peculiar arrangement, beauty, and spirit, of her religious out- 
pourings, probably exceeded every thing which she had, as a 
whole, ever heard in her life. . 

As to her ever having derived any thing from her reading, 
which could have in the least assisted her in her superior sermons, 


exhortations, and prayers, it is out of the question ; for although 
she could read, when that is said, all is said. She could barely- 
read, but it appears that she could not read even the most easy 
lessons with ease or freedom. ; 

Whoever, therefore, reads her pathetic, classical, and excellent 
Christian effusions, which are not exceeded by the prayers and 
meditations of him who stands at the head of English literature, 
we mean Dr. Johnson, will have the more reason for profound 
astonishment. Yes, when he considers too, that he is reading the 
outpourings of a young, uneducated country girl, and she fast 
asleep ! 

We are told, and so it appears to us, that her inventive powers 
were such, in her sleep, as to be almost as remarkable as any part 
of her history. She combined her ideas in new ways, and from 
this power, modified and diversified her discourses, so as to form 
an immense variety, uttering phrases, and metaphors, as Dr. 
Mitchell observes, peculiar to herself. 

Her sleeping soul was a storehouse of piety and devotion, from 
which issued copious streams, differing from what she had been 
accustomed to hear, as a glowing imagination, and more ardent 
temperament, will make the same old story appear like a new, 
brilliant, and interesting one. 

Still, the greatest wonder must be kept in view, which was, that 
none of these exalted strains, ever presented themselves to her 
waking mind. But even when asleep, and when exhorting, or 
preaching, or praying, she readily answered such questions as 
were put to her, in a prompt, pertinent, and obliging manner, but 
evincing at the same time a profound submission in every thing 
to the will of the Most High, a deep and feeling sense of religion, 
in all its glory, and a most pertinent view of all the pious bearings 
which it could possibly prompt. 

We have been more impressed with the introductory and con- 
cluding prayers of Rachel Baker, her exhortations, and answers 
to the questions proposed to her, than with any religious writings, 
and speakings, whatever ; always meaning to except the Sermon 
on the Mount, some of the writings of St. Paul, and some other 
parts of the Bible. Still, in these sleeping effusions of hers, 
there is the most complete summary of the Sermon on the Mount, 


and of all the practical duties, and doctrines, and precepts, of the 
apostles, epistles, and prophets, that we have ever seen. And 
even when she quotes the Bible, and deviates slightly from our 
present Englislf translation, we are inclined to think that the best 
Greek scholar will justify such deviation. 

Indeed, as one of her visitors observed, she appeared to be in- 
tuitively prepared to meet questions the most dark and abstruse ; 
and to answer them with promptness, and with multifarious re- 
mark, right onward, without repetition ; so as to exhaust her sub- 
ject entirely, and almost, before she got through, herself also. 
The colors of the duties of a parson, presbyter, elder, or preacher, 
were painted by her so vividly, as to almost merit the title given, 
of delirious ecstacy, by one who heard her. Still, there was no 
rant, cant, nor raving ; nothing but what might be justified, paral- 
leled, and referred to the Bible, either in the English translation, 
the marginal notes, or in the original languages, from which it was 

The pleasures of a life to come, for a life well spent here, and 
the awfully solemn denunciations, and shuddering terrors, of eter- 
nal damnation, the slumbering sentinel, who was drowsy at his 
post, or winked on the watch tower, were perhaps never better in- 
terlarded with scriptural allusions, or with copiousness of human 
language, or with aptness of illustration, or with potency of ap- 
plication. This oracular corpse amazed the clergymen, as well 
as the doctors of medicine, correctly, who visited her. For her 
sleep was deep and dead, and for the time, she was to all external 
things, an inhabitant of another world, except as to hearing, and 
answering questions. One of her visitors, who upon a stormy 
night visited her, and heard her holdings forth, described the deep 
attention of the auditors, the sighs of the women, the howling of 
the tempest, united with the speaking corpse, when uttering its 
awful warnings, as calculated to make the soul shudder, and 
shiver in sublimity. 

She was pale during her paroxysms, and as one described her, 
colorless as dead. Indeed she might be, as she was on one occa- 
sion, reduced to an alarming state of debility, by the multiplicity 
of questions propounded to her ; she never refusing to answer 


them pertinently, so long as they were asked, and her friends had 
to interfere, in order to keep her from being quite exhausted. 

She was in the city of New York in the autumn of the year 
1814 ; and when in her sleeping fits, questions by Uifferent clergy- 
men were at different times proposed to her. Some of these did 
not relate to religious matters, but her answers always savored of 

She was once asked this question : What is to become of the 
poor of this city, during the inclemency of the ensuing winter ? 
She sighed and said, " That is a question too difficult for me to 
answer. I have not the eye of God, to discern the wants of the 
poor in this great city ; nor the understanding of the Almighty, 
to devise means for their relief. But one thing I know, that God 
will provide for his own. He has said, bread shall be given them, 
and water shall be made sure. And in regard to others, his 
general providence will supply them, for he is good and kind even 
to the evil and unthankful. He maketh his sun to rise upon the 
evil and the good, and sendeth rain upon the just and the unjust. 
He openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living 

This country was at that period at war with Great Britain, and 
she was questioned as to what ought to be the conduct of Chris- 
tians during the war ; to which her answer responded in senti- 
ments which every Christian would admire, the conclusion of 
which was as follows : " But I would warn you all, that there is 
another war, and a captain who is never defeated, even Jesus 
Christ, who makes war upon sin from generation to generation. 
He is always victorious. All his enemies shall be defeated and 
scattered. For lo ! thine enemies, O Lord, thine enemies shall 
perish. O ye sons and daughters of men, I entreat you to enlist 
under the banners of the Captain of salvation, that you may be 

The Rev. Dr. Mason was at that period the most popular 
preacher in the United States ; and it was said to her, You have 
been to Dr. Mason's church this evening, and heard him preach ; 
he is come to see you. She answered, " I did not observe any of 
the ambassadors of Christ in the assembly, but I know the 
preacher has been with my God, and that my God has been with 


liiin, for I heard the truth. The grand theme of a minister should 
ever be Christ and him crucified. Ministers should be examples 
to the flock in every good word and work, and keep low in the 
valley of humiliation. They should warn unbelievers who are 
blind to the things of God, for it is written, eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things 
which God hath prepared for them that love him." 

The question was asked her, By what means can the heart 
of an obdurate, rebellious sinner be changed, so as to yield 
a cheerful obedience to the will of God? Her answer was, 
"Nothing, my friend, short of the almighty power of God, can 
change the heart of a sinner. For such is the deceitfulness and 
desperate wickedness of the heart of man by nature, that he 
would forever remain an enemy to God in his mind, by wicked- 
ness, unless God should make his word like a fire and a hammer, 
to melt and break his rocky heart in pieces. To take away the 
heart of stone is the work of God, and the new heart is the gift of 
his sovereign grace. Thus saith the Lord, a new heart also will I 
give you, and a new spirit will I put within you ; and I will take 
away the stony heart out of your flesh. O my fellow sinners, un- 
less you experience this divine change, you are undone, and must 
perish forever. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be 
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Are you aston- 
ished at this declaration ? Do you ask, how can these things be ? 
Marvel not that I say unto you, ye must be born again." 

In one particular she agreed when asleep and when awake. It 
was, in lamenting the peculiarity of her state ; and which she 
spoke of when questioned, and when awake, with reluctance, 
betraying a deep sensibility, and regarding it as a misfortune. 
When in one of her fits, her views may be gathered from her an- 
swer to the following question : 

Q. What is your greatest grief? 

A. My greatest grief is, that the hand of the Lord is lying heavy 

upon me, and that he has made me to differ from my brethren 

and sisters in a strange and unaccountable manner; also, that I 

am not sufficiently resigned to the will of my heavenly father in 

this my affliction ; and I also grieve, bscause I do not live so near 

to God as I should, 




Except in this one point, she appears to have been as different 
from herself in her waking and in her preaching states, as two 
distinct persons. In her normal, natural, or waking state, her 
speech was heavy, languid, and drawling ; so ranch so, as to be 
painful to the hearer ; whilst in her fits of preaching, her articula- 
tion was distinct, and occasionally earnest and impressive, some- 
times ornamental and figurative, fluent and rapid. 

The fits invaded her with regularity, at about nine o'clock in 
the evening, and lasted from forty-five minutes, to one hour and 
a quarter. A few minutes after going to sleep, or becoming som- 
nolent, her exercises commenced, beginning with prayer, which 
was succeeded by a sermon, or rather an exhortation, as she did 
not take any text, and were concluded by another prayer. During 
these exercises, she did not move a limb, except the tongue, but 
lay as motionless as a person entirely dead, her eyes being con- 
stantly closed. She would, as already observed, answer ques- 
tions, but could not, by any means, be aroused from her sleep, or 
somnolent state. She was, therefore, evidently in a fit, and the 
whole of her religious exercises were unstudied, unpremeditated, 
and like the dancing of Nancy Hazard, whose case we have be- 
fore related, involuntary. Physicians must regard her as having 
periodical paroxysms of disease, of a peculiar kind. And this 
seems to have been her own view of her case, when she regarded 
it as a misfortune, both when in her fits and out of them. Like 
other nervous diseases, hers did not alter her pulse, nor the heat 
of her skin, except when her exercises fatigued her, and then her 
pulse showed signs of debility. Her moral character, as Dr. 
Mitchell observes, was fair and exemplary. The length of time 
she had been thus affected was about three years, nor were her 
physicians in New York, by bleeding, opiates, or any other reme- 
dies, able to produce any change ; she having been brought 
thither for medical advice, and sea air, but departed as she came, 
without benefit from either. There were some slight hysterical 
symptoms at the close of her discourses, with sighing and moan- 
ing, when she appeared to fall into a natural slumber, but did not 

* Those who may wish to he made Anther acquainted with this case, are re- 
ferred to a pamphlet, by Mr. Charles Mais, stenographer, of the city of New 


§ 2. This case of sleep-preaching, although quite remarkable, 
is not, however, the only one that has occurred. We have the 
case of a man, a layman, before us, who did not suppose that he 
had ever experienced conversion, who yet was in the habit of 
rising from his bed, and praying and preaching in his sleep. 
The distinction betwixt his waking and his sleeping mind and 
memory, was sufficiently extraordinary to support the doctrine of 
two distinct souls or spirits. After he had finished his sermon, he 
dismissed his supposed audience, or pronounced a dismissal ; 
but before this, he regularly appointed another time when he 
would hold forth again. And strange to tell, he did not have 
another fit of somniloquism, until the time of adjournment arrived, 
when regular to the appointment of his sleeping mind, he never 
missed, but with the utmost punctuality went to an upper window 
of his house, his usual place of location, when he preached in his 
sleep, and commenced exercises, after the manner of the minister 
whom he had been accustomed to hear. 

This man was moderate, steady, and respectable, and for years 
had been under the influence of this singular affection. His health 
was good, and he was in other respects like other people who are 
sound in mind and body. Yet of this nightly sleep preaching, 
when he was awake, he was unconscious ; he knew nothing, re- 
membered nothing at all of it. His soul of night remembered 
the things of night, his soul of day, the incidents of day. He 
that shouIH any, that the different states of the bodily organs, in 
the time of sleep, caused the different states of the mind and 
memory, would he not be teaching materialism 1 

We then have no resort except to the plurality of souls or 
spirits. And that more than one spirit may inhabit the same 
body, we have testimony higher than human. No one who ad- 
mits that seven devils were cast out of one woman, supposes, or 
can suppose, that these devils were any thing more or less than 
evil spirits. No one ever did, or ever will maintain, that they 
were material, corporeal, visible, or tangible bodies. They were, 

York, who took down literally, the exercises of Miss Baker. In this pamphlet, 
the two prayers and the exhortation, pronounced in one of her nightly exercises, 
are given at length. They are well worthy of the notice of the curious and the 


therefore, seven evil spirits, called devils. Now this man appears 
to have had one additional spirit, or extra soul, which was a good 
one, we may suppose a converted one, which led him to pray and 
to preach in his sleep ; whilst his waking soul t was deemed by 
himself to be in an unconverted state, and did nothing of the 

After all, however, the state of this man, and that of Rachel 
Baker, did not materially differ from the common occurrence of 
dreaming, except that they had the power of giving speech and 
system to their imaginations, which common dreamers do not 
possess. They dreamed sermons and spoke them. The man 
had somnambulism with his dreams ; Rachel Baker had only 
somniloquism with hers, as she did only talk and did not walk. 

Age, owes most of its acts to impressions received in infancy, 
or adolescence, which have long been forgotten, and every trace 
of them banished from the recollection. Sickness, senility, or 
the approach of death, may sometimes resuscitate the recollections 
of youth which have long lain dormant. And dreams sometimes 
do it, when every vestige of a past occurrence has passed from 
the waking mind. 

The Rev. Mr. Muhlenburg, who was minister of the Lutheran 
church in Philadelphia, his auditors, many of them being from 
Sweden, was surprised to hear the aged Swedes, on their death 
beds, praying in the Swedish language ; a language which he 
was sure they had not spoken for fifty ur sixty Years ; and which 
it is probable, as Dr. Rush supposed, that they had forgotten en- 
tirely, until the effects of the fever on the brain, revived its recol- 
lection. The same thing has happened to native Welch, and 
Germans, in this country. 

§ 3. There is no religious sect in the known world, either 
Christian, Mahomedan, or Pagan, who sacrifice so totally, all 
the joys, comforts, and necessaries of the present life, for the sake 
of the future, as the Gymnosophists, a religious sect among the 

Gymno sophist, signifies naked philosopher. The forsaking of 
all acts that are desirable, is one of their tenets, which carried to 



its full extent, introduces the performer, or sufferer, immediately 
into the abodes of bliss, and Iias4he power to unbar the gates of 

As wearing clothes, is one of those desirable things, nakedness 
is endured, almost totally, by the most fanatical of these devotees, 
and naked feet by all of them. 

They abandon the society of men, and pass their lives amid 
the deserts and jungles, totally absorbed in contemplating things 
spiritual, heavenly, and divine. It is thus that they think to fortify 
and fit the imprisoned soul, for the moment of its liberation from 
its fleshly prison, and for its entrance into those abodes prepared 
for the sanctified, who by such austere sanctity, merit admittance. 
The penances to which they subject their spare, naked, and ema- 
ciated bodies, in order to vanquish the unholy solicitations of 
their passions, are beyond description excruciating and terrible. 
The severest tortures which human ingenuity can inflict, are 
borne with unshrinking fortitude ; nor do they seek consolation 
in human society, or compassion from human sympathy, or pity 
from any mortal eye. It is theirs unflinchingly to bear torments 
the most cruel, untouched to tear ties the most tender, undisturbed 
to undergo tortures the most terrible. 

Upon a man becoming one of the fourth, or highest order of 
this religious sect, and which is termed Simiassi, the wife of his 



bosom is neglected, and the child of his affections abandoned. 
Daily penalties of the body are endured for the purification of 
the spirit ; but a day, a week, a month, or a year, does not end, 
or mitigate the intensity of the sufferings, or lighten the load of 
the sufferer. The privations, the patience, the penalties, the 
pains, are to be perpetual to the penitent. His home is abandon- 
ed ; his haggard frame and starved stomach, are taken where 
food, fuel, or shelter, are not found. His naked body is exposed 
to the stinging and the biting of insects — to the fangs and to the 
poison of serpents — to famine, and to the ferocity of wild beasts. 
Every misery is endured in meditation and silence, for the sake 
of his soul. No companion accompanies him — no human' voice 
is heard but his own, and this only escapes his lips in the utter- 
ance of one single mystic word, at intervals. This word is awan, 
and is uttered sacredly, because it is the first word of the Vedas, 
or Hindoo scriptures. Like the moping owl, which to the moon 
complained, and not like the beautiful bird of night, which melo- 
dious sung its anthems to returning day. Day and night, the sun 
serene, or scowling sky, found him alike miserable, alike crying 
awan. But what is his food, what keeps his soul from premature- 
ly flying from its exhausted, emaciated, miserable tenement ? It 
is the food of the brute, the herbage that spontaneously springs in 
the desert. But if the grass of the desert is dried up, and the 
berries fallen and exhausted, his severe order permits him to visit 
the nearest village, and to beg a handful of boiled rice ; which if 
thrown on the ground, he takes up with his mouth, swallowing as 
much, and no more, than will prevent absolute starvation. This 
done, he flies to his sole, sore, solitary business, that of incessant 
mental prayer, intense contemplation, painful fasting, and the 
endurance of damp, drought, dearth, and nakedness. 

They consider these abstemious sufferings as uniting them in- 
timately with the Deity, and as enduing them with a portion of 
his power. Hence it is supposed that their energy is unbounded, 
that they can cast out devils of all kinds, and bring up demons 
from the lowest bobun of naraka, or that Hindoo hell, which 
is the region of serpents. They even themselves hold, that 
the united prayers and powers of their order, can call down 
the stars from heaven, remove mountains, and disembody the 


soul ; and then again restore it to its breathless clod of a habi- 

" These devotees are frequently seen in the jungles, and in the 
neighbourhood of the deserts, in a state of dreadful emaciation. 
They are held in the highest veneration by all pious Hindoos." 
And no one who reads their history, can deny the power, the vast, 
the intense, the concentrated, the mighty, the unbounded power of 
religion on the mind. The present writer can say, that nothing 
has ever struck him more forcibly, as evincing this point, than the 
account of these Gymnosophists, and of the Essenes, as given 
by Flavius Josephus. If then, false religions have such super- 
human influence, what ought the true religion of the Bible to 
have 1 

§ 4. Account of the funeral ceremonies of the ancient kings 
of Scythia, from Herodotus :— " The body having been trans- 
ported through the different provinces of the kingdom, they come 
at last to the Gerrhi, who live in the remotest parts of Scythia, 
and among whom the sepulchres are. Here the corpse is placed 
upon a couch, round which, at different distances, daggers are 
fixed ; upon the whole are disposed pieces of wood covered with 
branches of willow. In some other parts of the trench they bury 
one of the deceased's concubines, whom they previously strangle, 
together with the baker, the cook, the groom, his most confiden- 
tial servant, his horses, the choicest of his effects, and finally, 
some golden goblets, for they possess neither silver nor brass. 
To conclude all, they fill up the trench with earth, and seem to 
be emulous in their endeavours to raise as high a mound as pos- 

Let the moderns consider themselves as the descendants of 
whatever nation they may, they can hardly come to any other 
conclusion than that their remote ancestors were barbarians. 
Here was no less than five persons murdered, in order that they 
might be buried in the same trench with their master the king. 
When we view the enormities of the Scythians, and the Druids, 
we may learn how highly we ought to prize the religion of Chris- 


§ 5. We had supposed that although the pyramids of Egypt, 
and of Spanish America, together with the mounds of the west- 
ern and southern states, were of unknown eras, yet that the anti- 
quities of England could be better traced to their authors, and 
authenticated as to their origin. But we find that Silsbury-Hill, 
so called, is an immense barrow of one hundred and seventy feet 
in height, of which history gives no account. This immense 
barrow, covers a surface of no less than five acres, and thirty- 
four perches of land, and is something more than five hundred 
feet in diameter at its base, and one hundred and five feet diame- 
ter at its top. The tradition is, that an unknown king named 
Sil, or Zel, " as the country folk pronounce it," was bulled there 
on horseback. It is supposed to have had some connection with 
the idolatrous worship of the Druids. But the tradition of its 
having been a place of sepulture for a king, is most probably 
true, although the Druids, or ancient Britons, might have wept or 
worshipped there. The Druid barrow is circular, and of no very 
great elevation elsewhere. This Silsbury-Hill is the largest bar- 
row in England. The next in size is Marlborough-Mount, in the 
garden of an inn at Marlborough.* There is another kind of 
barrow found in England, of a long oval shape. 

It is not then Egypt alone which has its monuments of antiqui- 
ty, reaching beyond the reach of history ; both England and 
America, are rivals to the land of the Pharaohs and Ptolemies, in 
this respect. 

The two most ancient sepulchral monuments, was the barrow, 
or heap of earth, and the eairn, or pile of stones, raised over the 
dead. The former, in process of time, arose to the mound, or 
mount, and the latter to the pyramid ; in order, by distinguished 
monuments, to distinguish the remains of those who had distinc- 
tion whilst living. The book of Joshua, Homer, Horace, and 
Virgil, may be referred to for such structures. 

Burying the body in a sitting posture, with the arms about the 
lower limbs, was one of the earliest methods of disposing of the 
dead. To this burning succeeded. The latest adoption, that ot 
burying the body extended, entire, and at full length, continues to 
the present time. 

* See Saturday Magazine, for November, 1836. 


§ 6. A recently related case of somnambulism, from the pen 
of Benjamin Haskell, M. D. of South Boston, is published in 
the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. 

In some of its features, this case is equally curious and surpri- 
sing, as those which we have already given. It occurred in a 
young man of about twenty years of age, by the name of William 
Blatchford, Jr., of Gloucester, Massachusetts, one of those towns 
which suffered under the epidemic mania, called the Salem 
witchcraft. He was first seized January 2d, 1834, with a severe 
pain in his head, which was followed by something resembling 
intermittent fever, which was succeeded by fits. In these fits, he 
performed all the feats of a rope-dancer, and balance-master, 
balancing himself with one foot on the back of a chair, leaping 
on and walking the mantel piece, with other similar acts of agili- 
ty. His senses partook of a morbid degree of acuteness which 
was astonishing : faint sounds to him were unpleasantly loud, 
and slightly touching his skin, as painful as a blow, to well per- 
sons. But his eyes displayed this increase of sensibility in a 
most marvellous degree ; so that animal magnetism and witch- 
craft, were called in to account for the otherwise, to the beholders, 
unaccountable phenomena. The first discovery of this magical 
acuteness of vision, was accidental. The light happened to be 
carried out of 'the room, in. the night, just as he was coming out of 
one of his fits, and his mother, who remained with him, happen- 
ed to come against a chair ; he asked her why she did so. She 
answered that it was so dark she could not see. He seemed sur- 
prised, and disposed to deny that it was dark, observing that he 
could see the letters on the back of a Bible, which lay on a table 
the opposite side of the room. His father coming in with a light, 
the experiment was tried, of putting a handkerchief folded a 
number of times over his eyes, as he complained that the light 
dazzled them. But whilst thus blindfolded, Watts' Psalms and 
Hymns being presented to him, he read out of the book, a num- 
ber of stanzas, whilst thus blindfolded. And we are told that 
this experiment was often repeated during his illness. Dr. Has- 
kell informs us that it was witnessed by himself, and by numbers 
who were incredulous, until obliged to submit to the testimony of 
their own eyes. 



The patient's residence was by the sea-side, overlooking a bay, 
the entrance into a harbor. And by this surprising acuteness of 
vision, he was able to tell, and did repeatedly tell, what vessels at 
a distance, had on deck, when even the hull itself, to other per- 
sons, was scarcely visible, if visible at all. And upon the arrival 
of the craft, he was always found to have told correctly. With 
his eyes, over which two closely folded silk handkerchiefs were 
placed, and so held that he seemed to look through the hand of 
his father who held them, he accurately told the number, and the 
names of ten or twelve persons in the room. It was between 
twilight and dark, and he named the several persons as his father 
pointed at them, which proves that there could have been no col- 
lusion. We incline, however, to the opinion which we have in 
the similar instances, of Jane C. Rider, Mrs. Cass, Nancy Haz- 
ard, and the case mentioned by Dr. Rush, expressed, that there 
was a transfer of the visual rays, from the eyes to the fingers, or 
other parts of the body. 

We should feel inclined, if we now had a similar case, to try 
the experiment of enveloping the whole body in a number of 
blankets, in order the better to test this theory of transfer and 
metastasis. What we are next told of the case of this young man, 
strengthens our hypothesis, or rather it may be said, gives room 
for another, which is, that the eye itself was endued with micro- 
scopic powers, and had all the properties of a magnifying glass. 
For we are informed, and the authority is of such credibility, that 
we are not permitted to doubt, that he read fine print through ten 
thicknesses of diaper, and which was held by a lady, who if not 
unwilling to believe the evidence of her own senses, was incredu- 
lous until thus convinced by them ; letters, at that time, as he ex- 
pressed to Mr. Gott, appearing as large as the ends of the fingers. 
Men, he said, were magnified into giants. This exaltation of 
vision, did not last the whole time of the young man's illness, 
amd as in the case of Nancy Hazard, which we saw ourselves, 
came on at the close of a fit ; the patients at the time, having 
been neither in a fit, nor entirely free from the effects of one. 
Some of Blatchford's fits resembled epilepsy, others ecstacy or 
trance. Others were like those fits popularly called still hysterics, 


in which he would lie, from half an hour to an hour, void of 
sense, and entirely motionless. 

There is in this case, and in others of the same kind, abundant 
food for metaphysical speculation. And there are now enough 
of them upon record, to speculate upon. We have advanced the 
doctrine of a transfer, or metastasis of the senses. Others may 
suppose, that the ganglions of the nerves are elevated, so as to as- 
sume the properties imputed by physicians to the brain, and by 
the Bible to the heart ; so as in fact to assume the powers of the 
senses. But these two theories are so nearly alike, that he who 
can feel the weight of an argument, will feel no great disposition 
to contend for the one to the exclusion of the other. We incline, 
from the cases of Miss M'Evoy, and Mrs. Cass, to consider the 
doctrine of a transfer, or metastasis of the senses, to be complete- 
ly proved. But that in other cases, and even in theirs, that there 
may have been an elevation of the powers and sympathies of the 
ganglions, it would be wise to admit, and not inconsistent with 
any rational theory to deny.- 

But in the case of this young man, sleep talking was a promi- 
nent and entertaining feature, to his attendants and visitors. He 
had the summer previous to his illness, been employed in the 
coasting trade, between the port of Gloucester and New York ; 
and his visions of the night related to the seas, to the purchasing 
of a cargo, to the lading and stowing *away the materials, to 
hauling off the vessel from the wharf into the stream, to obtain- 
ing his papers, and clearing at the custom house ; to the hunting 
up of the crew, from the grog-shops and boarding houses. He 
considered himself as the captain, and it was noticed that his 
cargoes were always well adapted to the port to which he sailed, 
and that his return cargoes, were such as are usually brought 
from the places to which he went, and from which he came. 
'But his sleeping, somnambulist soul, carried him sometimes 
ashore, cast him away, or dashed his ship on the rocks; in all 
which emergencies, he evinced as much presence of mind, nauti- 
cal skill, correctness of judgment, and tact of managing and or- 
dering his crew, and every thing connected with his perils, and 
the safety of the ship, cargo, and hands, as the most adroit, and 
experienced old sea-captain could possibly manifest. This was 


repeatedly verified by experienced ship-masters having been 
present at his reveries, and who listened to his imaginary dangers, 
and to his remedies, and the methods and means prescribed, and 
pursued by himself, and ordered for his crew. >» 

When his imagination conjured up a storm, every disposition 
was immediately made, such as furling the small sails, reefino- 
the large ones, sending down the topmast spars, and all the other 
means of resort, of the most skilful mariner, and far exceeding 
any thing ever experienced by himself, in the short time that he 
had been employed as a hand, m the coasting business. He was 
fertile in expedients, and showed an acquaintance with facts, and 
availed himself of his knowledge in this respect, in his paroxysms. 
But his waking mind had no retention of these same facts, nor 
no remembrance that his sleeping mind had ever referred to them. 
Yet, when the next night his sleeping mind resumed its empire, 
the whole train of thought approached it, and business began just 
where his sleeping mind had left it the night preceding. 

The excitement of disease upon the nerves, rendered luminous 
those readings and relations, which he might have heard in health, 
but which he did not retain, owing to the shghtness and transitori- 
ness of their impressions. At least, this is one view which may 
be taken of the subject ; and as an instance of which, in a fancied 
voyage to Liverpool, his vessel was incommoded by a bank at the 
Mersey's mouth, the rifer leading to that city. Yet upon being 
questioned next day, he knew of no such obstruction. Thus his 
sleeping mind was the best geographer ; there being a bar at the 
mouth of that river, which he might at some time or other in his 
life, have heard mentioned. His sleeping soul, in his voyages, 
was careful to take a pilot on board at the proper tpe and place, 
and to discharge him when no longer needed. His anchor was 
unbent and secured, the cable stowed away. He kept a reckon- 
ing, threw the log periodically, and took the altitude of the sun, 
to find out the latitude. Every visitor was struck with the extent 
and accuracy of that knowledge which was evinced, and only 
evinced, in sleep — a knowledge which he had never had any ade- 
quate opportunity to acquire, and of which awake, he scarcely 
possessed a single particle. 


An incident which took place when his imagined voyage was 
to Sumatra, where he was procuring pepper, strikingly illustrates 
his knowledge of facts, and tact at expedients. He supposed 
himself on sborfe, purchasing pepper, which was only brought to 
him in small quantities at a time ; and being thus delayed he was 
obliged to have his dinner sent from the ship to the shore, in which 
transit it passed through the hands of the Malays, who abstracted 
a part of it. When he found this out, he advised his cook, when 
he sent it again on shore by them, to say that it was hog. These 
followers of Mahomet, truer to religion than honesty, respected 
the prophet's injunction of " good Mussulmen abstain from 
pork," and it was brought to him unmolested. 

His conduct is mentioned as having been always consistent 
with itself, and true to his imaginary character, in situation and 
circumstances. His supposed voyages when short, occupied his 
sleeping mind but one night, but if long, two nights were spent in 
the detail. His vessel was always a temperance vessel, no spirit- 
ous liquors being allowed on board. Yet he was sometimes 
freighted with wooden pumpkins and squashes, which he sold to 
the inhabitants of Salem ; and he sometimes cast his vessel away 
to defraud the underwriters. Where his last sleeping story left 
his vessel, there his next reverie found it, whether lying in port, or 
in the midst of the Atlantic ocean. " In several successive voy- 
ages, his black cook turned white through terror." His final 
cure of voyaging in his sleep, was owing to his vessel having 
been stranded on the pig-rocks, so called, at the entrance of Sa- 
lem harbor ; on which occasion, himself and his crew had to take 
to the boats. He came home to Gloucester, affirming that he was 
sick of the sea, and would never wet his jacket with salt wate* 
again. His sleeping soul, true to itself, and regarding its promises, 
never was known to travel the deep afterwards. From that time 
he has not been known to talk in his sleep ! The sequel of this 
part of the case is certainly as worthy of notice as any part 

of it. 

Here then was the so%l of sleep, accomplishing all its convic- 
tions, pursuing all its determinations, systematizing all its pro- 
jects, and concluding all its acts, by resolve and resolution, to 
which it has firmly adhered. 


What are we to think of the essence of the soul ? What shall 
we conclude about it, when we find its capabilities capable of 
division, controlling the flesh, and yet that flesh when tortured 
and pricked, and even when the biles upon this* man, of which 
he had several, were pinched, could elicit no signs of suffering, 
no turn of thought from that current which somnambulism or his 
sleeping soul was pursuing 1 

We are sometimes taught the intimate dependance of the soul 
upon the body, as when we see the latter sleeping, when the 
spirit would willingly remain awake. But here the soul seemed 
transported away from its pained tenement, and acting as though 
it had no such companion as a body with biles upon it, which 
were pinched ; or blistered surfaces, which were irritated ; or 
nerves, which were lacerated. All these things were done to this 
man, and yet he remained dead to his companions, — dead to his 
house and home, and to all affairs on land, and alive only to the 
ship and the sea. But before the soul of night assumed this all- 
controlling, this paramount sway, the body seemed to assume a 
short ascendant, a tyrannical, a barbarous reign. It had four or 
five convulsive fits. At an early hour he would then express a 
desire to retire to rest. When his bed was prepared, he went to it 
and undressed himself. He would then leap from the floor on to 
it, and then in the instant, his waking soul resigned its empire. 
His body became senseless, motionless, unsusceptible, as one en- 
tirely dead, as the most pale and lifeless corpse, to stimulants; 
and from that moment, of a kind of half voluntary sleep-talking, 
a farewell was bidden to his waking soul, and all its thoughts, to 
his suffering, blistered body, and all its pains. 

He would repose on his back, and nothing would arouse him 
but the rays of the morning sun, which as they sprang from the 
chambers of the East, the next morning, would call his earthly 
mansion to resume its social soul of day, and animate his limbs, 
and sound his voice, in accents of mortals, aided by the scenes 
of earthly vision. 

There are some things which ought to be, and to remain un- 
known ; but nothing relating to this patient is of that descrip- 
tion. Every thing related of him, and his singular case, merits 
attention ; and attention we have given to this, and sundry other 


cases of the kind ; so that our readers may be led into the intricate 
mazes of »»a«, matter, and mind. Independence ought to have 
its proper pride, mendicity its proper shame, mendacity its proper 
punishment, ani veracity, and accurate analysis and observation 
their proper praise. But ncquid ni?nis, was the Latin adage, 
which means in English, nothing to excess. It is best, if possible, 
to deceive no one ; for whoso, like Mahomet and Cromwell, be- 
gins by deceiving others, will end like them, in deceiving him- 
self; and like Swift, die without a proper sense of death, from 
insanity ; or from a loss of friends be deprived of the glory of 
gold, and the lustre of living. 

His soul of sleep did not sanction fraud and imposture, without 
retributive justice. In one of his fancied voyages, as we have 
noticed, he sold to the inhabitants of Salem, a cargo of wooden 
squashes and pumpkins ; but the matter coming to light before 
he got away from the wharf, he was obliged to fly by land, and 
leave the old hulk of his schooner to remunerate the inhabitants 
for the imposture. 

There have been a few persons who have had the sharpness 
of sight to discover vessels and fleets at sea, by their reflection in 
the clouds, or the regions of the clouds, or atmosphere. Long 
before the sight of either the sails or the hull of ships could be 
discerned by themselves or any one else, this aerial vision, this 
painting in the skies, of vessels under sail, has been so express- 
ive, as that distant fleets and single vessels approaching the coast, 
has been averred, and their arrival has confirmed the seeming 
prediction. Young Blatchford, among his other displays of dis- 
eased sensibility, appears to have had this peculiarity. We would 
refer to this, his announcing the approach of two vessels, the one 
an hermaphrodite brig, the other a topsail schooner, as passing a 
ledge of rocks in the vicinity, when he was lying on his back on 
the floor, out of sight of the water, and with a long range of 
buildings betwixt himself and the harbor. The reflection in the 
clouds, might be seen, as Dr. Haskell ascertained, from whence 
his patient lay, through an opposite window. 

That this man's diseases were not wholly of the mind, but of 
a serious corporeal nature, his having pain in the head, intermit- 
tent fever, vomiting, bleeding from the mouth and stomach, and 


the discharge of a fetid matter from his mouth, abundantly de- 
monstrates. As to his perceiving the approach of vessels by the 
clouds, although it may be considered supernatural by some, it is 
not destitute of precedent. There has indeed, if »ve mistake not, 
an attempt been made to reduce the art of discovering vessels at 
sea, by their reflection in the atmosphere, long before they could 
be discerned from the shore, to something like a system. But the 
foreign periodical in which we noticed this curious subject, a 
considerable time past, we are not now able to refer to. We 
however, highly approve of the course pursued by Dr. Haskell, 
in relating the facts as they occurred, in the case of Blatchford, 
although he appears to have had some apprehensions of throwing 
discredit upon his statements, by giving them to the public ; and 
we fully agree with him, that no writer can do justice to science, 
by only detailing plausible occurrences, and suppressing facts 
equally true, but for which he is unable to account, or render a 

The progress of science, the accurate study of man, matter 
and mind, the phenomena daily developing of diseases, derange- 
ment, fits, and somnambulism, bid fair to clear up many recondite 
point's in physiology and animal life ; the ultimate results of 
which will, we trust, in time, reduce the mysteries of animal 
magnetism, magic, and supposed witchcraft, to matters of sober 

The subject of the bar at the mouth of the river Mersey, which 
obstructed his navigation in one of his sleeping voyages, and of 
which his waking memory retained no traces of ever having 
heard, was probably derived from his father, who had been to 
Liverpool when young. 

§ 7. Dreams may sometimes restore facts which have long 
been forgotten, and which even cannot be recollected when the 
dream in hours of wakefulness, is remembered. An instance of 
this kind occurred to Dr. Rush himself, of which I took a note 
when hearing his lectures. In 1766, Dr. Rush sailed for Edin- 
burgh, from one of the wharves in Philadelphia. In 1802, 
thirty-six years afterwards, the Doctor dreamed that he embarked 
for Edinburgh, and that his brother and Mr. Jonathan Smith, 


accompanied him to the wharf. When he was awake, he could 
not recollect that Mr. Smith accompanied him to the wharf in 
1766, and to satisfy his mind upon the subject, he took the oppor- 
tunity to inquire of him, whether he had dreamed correctly or 
not. Mr. Smith assured him that he had, and perfectly recollect- 
ed the circumstance. Thus the truth presented itself to the soul 
of sleep, which the waking soul could not remember. 

Dr. Rush, upon the general subject of dreams, did not think 
them necessarily connected with sleep ; which is to be under- 
stood, by some persons never dreaming, although all persons 
sleep. Thus Cleon slept as other persons sleep, but never dream- 
ed at all. In Cleon's whole life, therefore, a dream never had 
any connection with his sleep. His singularity in this respect, 
attracted the notice of that excellent ancient writer, Plutarch, 
who mentions the case of Cleon ; and Dr. Rush also mentions 
it, as a proof of dreams not being necessarily connected with 
sleep. We must however, maintain, that although sleep may be 
without dreams, yet that dreaming cannot occur without sleep. 
There is no such thing in nature as a dream without a drowse. 
Waking-dreams, so called, are only called so for the purpose of a 
misnomer, and in ridicule. They are like counterfeit money, 
plentiful, but spurious. They are worse than the dreams of 
night, which only mislead and impose upon the individual who 
has them, whilst the day dreams of visionaries, and enthusiasts, 
and speculators, impose upon and mislead hundreds of others, 
often to their ruin. 

Dreams are excited by too much food on the one hand, whilst 
inanition, hunger, thirst, night sweats, and hemorhage, may like- 
wise occasion them on the other. Too many clothes, and a 
retention of what ought to be evacuated, either from the bowels, 
the bladder, or brain, are prolific of dreams. By the brain's be- 
ing evacuated, we mean, that when too much blood is retained, 
that it is apt to flow upon that organ, and that bloodletting may 
prevent unpleasant dreams, and even apoplexy, and palsy, night- 
mare and epilepsy. 

Dreams may be compared to the delirium of fever, in both of 
which, there is an incoherence of ideas. And yet, in both there 
are sane, and sound, and vivid, and bright images, conceptions, 


and models of things in the mind, but unconnected and incohe- 
rent. Hence, the notions, conceptions, and thoughts, and opin- 
ions deducible from dreams, cannot be made to cohere by man, 
and are therefore referred to the Divinity. 

Without divine interposition, the want of cohesion, the loss of 
connection, and the absolute absence of memory, place the dreams 
of the Old Testament, like those of the New, and like those of 
past, present, and passing times, in the same light that they have 
ever stood ; that is, that they cannot be interpreted without divine 

Somnambulism, and its congeners, sleep talking and sleep 
preaching, are the madness of sleep, and resemble some cases of 
waking derangement. Eloquence, music, preaching, and a 
talent for poetry, have all been elicited by mania, in persons who 
had nothing of these talents in health. 

A gentleman in the Pennsylvania hospital, both astonished and 
delighted the patients, by his displays of oratory, as he preached 
from a table in the hospital yard every Sunday, in a state of in- 
sanity. A female in the same hospital, composed hymns, and 
sang them so sweetly, so soft and pleasant, as to cause the hearer 
to hang with delight upon her performance. And yet, she never 
had the talent of poetry, or music, when in health. 

The talent of wit and cunning, as connected with mental de- 
rangement, is common in all countries. But uncommon ingenui- 
ty in the mechanical arts, and in painting, have occasionally been 
evolved, and displayed. 

The combinations of things which madness exhibits, are incom- 
prehensible to reasonable men. For those things which are done 
without reason, it is hard, and often impossible, for reason to as- 
sign any motive for. 

John Allen, of Connecticut, the present writer has seen, after 
he had cut off his own nose. He frequently mutilated himself, or 
made the attempt, but before proceeding to the revolting opera- 
tion, he made a very long, and very excellent prayer. 

Our ancestors, the early Britons, would appear crazy, to all 
modern eyes. They dressed themselves in the skins of slain 
beasts. They put the hide of skinned brutes upon their shoulders, 
and all about their bodies. The horns of the hide were seen 


about the forehead of a human being, which had, before skinning, 
grown from the forehead of a cow, a bull, or buffalo. 

It is, however hardly correct to say, that the skins of brutes 
were put all aHiut their bodies, for the greatest part of their bodies 
were naked, ^hey, like all other savages, delighted in orna- 
menting a part of the body, rather than in covering the whole of 
it. Their festivals were without curb or restriction. Their liber- 
ty, was a license to riot, and to break all the rules of morality, and 
decency, and propriety, without compunction, and without pun- 

Mental vigor cannot be preserved without bodily exercise. But 
bodily exercise can be elicited, without any kind of mental vigor 

§ 8. There are some things detailed upon veritable authority, 
which are so improbable as scarcely to admit of serious belief. 
We may notice them, whilst we wait for further evidence. Among 
these, is the detail of the discovery of a people highly civilized in 
the interior of New Holland, under the editorship of Lady Mary 
Fox. Such a work seems calculated to excite the greatest atten- 
tion. But our credulity is pretty severely put to the test, when we 
are told in addition, that this people are descended from the Eng- 
lish nation. It is a late London production. 

If this people are more ancient than the discovery of New Hol- 
land by the modern British nation,* the question would naturally 
arise, how they got there at all, and especially how they became 
located in the interior, and were not found on the coasts of that 
vast country, or continent, of two thousand four hundred miles in 
length, by two thousand three hundred in breadth. 

There have been two well authenticated instances of women, 
sixty years of age, in the United States, having given birth to 
children. The first instance occurred in Pawtucket, four miles 
from the city of Providence, in Rhode Island. The mother died, 
but the child lived. The second instance occurred in Missouri, 
in Jefferson county, the southern part of that state. The St. 
Louis Republican states, that a gentleman vouches for the fact, 

* New Holland was first discovered by the Dutch, in 1616. 


that the wife of a respectable citizen, of the age above mentioned, 
presented her husband with twins. The husband himself was 
eighty years of age. 

If these instances are not unparalleled in the OW World, we do 
not know where to find their parallel, except in S-*rah, the wife of 

To these we may add the case of a woman in Connecticut, but 
a native of Rhode Island, who had a child at the age of fifty-four, 
lacking about three months. This woman the present writer 
knew, and attended at a privious birth of one of her children. 

That infants have been born pregnant, is a strange affair, but 
well substantiated by certain writers of the Old World, and we 
have one instance of it in the New World. 

§ 9. We learn from Haller, the celebrated Professer at Got- 
tengen that Rzasynski's Natural History of Poland, contains an 
example of a female child, pregnant, when born. 

We may refer to Otto, to Thomas Bartholine Aristotle, 
and others, as authorities in proof of instances of the like kind. 
And the present writer had a case related to him by a matron of 
the very first respectability, of an infant giving birth to another 
infant, which, whether ever published or not, is to him unknown. 

We should feel no disposition, however, to rank mankind with 
the aphis, an insect which is hatched in a pregnant state. The 
few instances in the human species which have occurred, are so 
few and far apart, as to be considered monstrous productions. 
They are, in my own view, twin cases, so designed by nature, but 
aberrating, so as that the progeny, instead of being separate, are 
combined, coalesced, adherent, or the one within the other. 

A great many facts relating to the animal economy, have been 
already discovered, but they have been unfolded singly, slowly, 
and at periods very distant. We have no reason to conclude that 
the volume of nature will ever be laid all open at once to our view. 
We must he contented to notice single facts, which have occurred 
at remote periods, and in remote climes, and when we get enough 
of them, we must put them together, and from generals descend 
to particulars, and thus form systems. 


That we are correct in our views with respect to nature having 
designed for twins those cases of fetal impregnation, so called, is 
proved by this, that there is at least one instance upon record, in 
which the human pregnant body was not a female, but a male. 
This instance occurred in France, in a boy named Amidee Bissieu, 
who had complained, from that period of infancy in which he 
could make himself understood, of pain in the left side. And 
this side was thus early found enlarged into the form of a tumour. 
He died in his thirteenth year, of fever and pulmonary consump- 
tion, having passed during his illness, puriform matters, and a ball 
of hairs. After death, the body was opened by Messrs. Guerin 
and Bertin, and the facts were ascertained and stated by the 
authority of a commission from the Medical School of Paris. A 
sac was found attached to the arch of the colon, in which balls of 
hair, arid an organized mass were found. The dissection of this 
mass, performed with extraordinary care, discovered traces of 
some of the organs of sense, a brain, a spinal marrow, and large 
nerves ; muscles, also, which were degenerated into a kind of 
fibrous matter ; a skeleton, composed of a spine, a head, a pelvis, 
and the rudiments of the limbs ; and lastly, an umbilical cord, 
which was very short, and which was inserted into the mesocolon ; 
an artery and a vein, which were ramified at both extremities, that 
belonging to the fetus, and that belonging to the body of the boy 
in whom it was found. 

The existence of the preceding organs, were sufficient proof, as 
the French Medical School, and physicians, determined, to 
demonstrate the individuality of this organized mass. That is, 
that it formed, nor was designed to form, no part of the body of 
the individual in which it was contained, but that the primary ob- 
ject of nature was, the formation of two bodies, separate and dis- 
tinct. As its location was without the alimentary canal, it could 
not have been swallowed ; as the body containing it was a male, 
it could not have been the result of self, or extrinsic impregnation. 
It remains, therefore, as a proof of our theory, that instances of 
the kind, are nature's abortive attempts to form twins, the one of 
which is contained within the other. It ought to be noticed that 
this organized mass was contained within the mesocolon, but at- 


tached to the colon, and that besides the parts already enume- 
rated, this monstrous relic of humanity had teeth. 

§ 10. We now proceed to notice a case of (the kind, which 
occurred in the New World. This was in Washington county, 
Kentucky, and is from the pen of Dr. Edward B. Gaither, of 
Springfield, in that state, whose patient, an infant of two years 
and nine months old, in whose body, after death, was found a 
fetus, or the monstrous remains of another infant. The little pa- 
tient was a female, who died about three hours after the arrival of 
the doctor. It was supposed to have been affected with ascites, or 
dropsy of the belly, but upon hearing a detail of the symptoms, 
it was concluded that the disease had been mistaken, and liberty 
was therefore obtained to examine the body. Upon doing which, 
a cavity was opened occupying a part of the umbilical and epi- 
gastric regions, containing yellow fetid water, and an imperfect 
child, and also an animal substance of a whitish color, from 
which grew a small teat, and hair, the latter being about an inch 
and a quarter in length. 

There was no visible connection of the imperfect fetus, or child, 
with the cavity in which it was found ; the cord, which must have 
existed, having been probably destroyed by putrescency ; and this 
the smell of the fluid denoted, as well as the appearance of the 
thigh, the bones of which had perforated the flesh at each knee. 
On one foot there were three toes, on the other the indistinct ap- 
pearance of two. The indications of sex were feminine. The 
left arm was but a stump, at the end of which was a nail, but no 
hand. The right arm was large and long, with three fingers and 
a thumb. The head was imperfect, and without eyes or ears. It 
had no mouth, nor proper face, but in that region of the head 
which the face should have seemingly occupied, there was a small 
protuberance, which contained, or in which were inserted, three 
teeth, which were of the size of the teeth of a child of about the 
age of the parent infant ;* which is a further confirmation of our 
position, that nature had designed, abortively, the production of 
t w i ns — the size of these teeth denoting that nature went forward 

* These teeth were two incisores, or front teeth, aud one canine, or eye tooth. 


with a part of the organs, without interruption, whilst otliers were 
hindered, frustrated, ruined, and no seeming efforts made to pro- 
duce them ; this substitute for a mouth having no opening at all. 
" On the back part of the head was hair eight or nine inches 
long ;" which ^gain shows that nature was not delayed in the 
growth of this integument. The whole length of the body was 
seven inches, its circumference ten inches. The length of the 
arm was five inches, that of the stump not quite four. 

Something hard in the abdomen of the little girl who had died, 
was discovered by the parents when she was only one month old, 
which continued to increase. She was healthy until nine months 
old, and her appetite appears always to have been good. It is 
quite remarkable that like some pregnant women, she had long- 
ings for ardent spirits, which were very great. It took a con- 
siderable quantity to affect her, and she would, if permitted, 
become intoxicated. Of these she drank freely only one hour 
before her death. 

Her size was that of ordinary children of her age ; she had 
dark hair and eyes, and as we are told, would have been called 
handsome, had knot been for a melancholy gloom on her counte- 
nance. " Her countenance exhibited evidences of a good under- 
standing, and her little tongue confirmed it." But her general 
appearance denoted that she was the child of grief. 

The weight of the infant's infant was two pounds fourteen 
ounces. The animal substance which had a teat, and hair, but 
was not connected with the fetus, was two ounces. It was con- 
nected, however, to* the child by a cord, and was no doubt a 
monstrous placenta. The quantity of liquor evacuated, was " be- 
tween three quarts and a gallon." It was yellow water, having 
the smell of bad eggs. So that the abdominal contents, of a kind 
purely and solely extra, in this child of two years and nine months 
old, must have amounted to at least nine pounds, which is the 
average weight of a full grown and healthy infant, or rather more ; 
it beino- considered rather a large new-born infant, that weighs 
nine pounds. 

§ 11. As many evils may be referred to the effects of poverty, 
we think that these evils must be referred mostly to the vegetable 


creation ; and that, as respects animals, the substitution of twins, 
for single births, is one of animal nature's prolines. It is one of 
her attempts at supernumeraries, of sailors, citizens, and soldiers, 
and of increasing the happiness of dust here, anc^ which may end 
in the happiness and eternal felicity of souls hereafter. Such 
appears to be a provision of providence, supremely wise, but 
which is frustrated by accidental causes, which special providen- 
ces do not prevent. For, says a celebrated divine, whose work is 
lying before us, " The miraculous and ordinary assistance of the 
Holy Ghost are very distinguishable."* 

§ 12. We should ever be cautious how we give way to the 
figments of unbridled fancy. John Redman Coxe, M. D. who 
was Professor of Chemistry, in the University of Pennsylvania, 
when we attended that institution, has lately published a work 
" On a Genus of Acephalous People in Ethiopia, as described by 
St. Augustine." That there ever existed a people without heads, 
we should hardly credit, although it was asserted by Augustine, 
a saint. We presume, however, from the respectability of Dr. 
Coxe, that he believed it, or else that he would not have given his 
name to an account so marvellous. 

But what we are next to mention, savours almost as strongly of 
the wonderful, and yet it comes so well authenticated, that as it 
has the name of the place where it happened, and the names of 
the witnesses who saw it, we could not fail of noticing. It is an 
account of a man who submitted to be # buried alive for a 
month, and at the expiration of that period, was taken out 


§ 13. The case occurred in a part of British India, and is 
published in the " India Journal of Medical and Physical Sci- 
ence.' 11 It was communicated by H. M. Tweedell, Esq. ; and 
it is substantiated by referring to Capt. Trevelyan, of the Bom- 
bay Artillery, to Lieut. A. M. Boileau, of the Engineers, and to 
Lieut. Macnaughten, of the fifth regiment of light cavalry, as- 
sistant to the Governor General in Rajpootanah. 

* Rev. Whlliam Jay, on the " Character and Narrative of the Rev. 
John Clark," p. 52. 


The fellow was about thirty years of age, his native village not 
far from Kurnaul. He told Major Spiers, of Ajmeer, of his 
powers, and was laughed at as an impostor. Lieut. Macnaugh- 
ten, however, wiio was then a cornet, put his abstinence to the 
test, by suspending him for thirteen days, shut up in a wooden 
chest, without food, and he came out alive ! The writer appears 
to suppose that the buried performer was breathless during his 
incarceration, for he says that the man by long practice, had ac- 
quired the art of holding his breath, by shutting his mouth, and 
stopping the interior opening of the nostrils with his tongue. 
This opinion, however, is to be rejected at once ; for during his 
four weeks burial, it appears that the grave was covered over 
with two stone slabs, and it is not proved to have been air tight, 
although the writer supposes that it was so. In many respects, 
the experiment appears to have been conducted with much care ; 
for in addition to the two stone slabs, which were each five or six 
feet long, and several inches thick, and wide enough to cover the 
mouth of the grave, there was also a watch placed outside, to see 
that there was no deception practised. He was buried on the 
bank of a tank, near the camp where the writer was. The pro- 
cess of burying, and of disinterring, was conducted in the pres- 
ence of Esur Lai, a minister of one of the native princes or 
governors, called the Muliarawul. The guard, or watch which 
was set round the grave, were Chuprasees, in the employ of the 
native prince. 

The person, when he has a sufficient offer, for he requires to 
be liberally paid, prepares himself to be buried, by abstaining 
from solid food, for several days. This is done that no incon- 
venience may arise from the contents of his stomach, whilst he 
remains in his narrow house. His shroud, is a bag of cloth, in 
which he is sewed up, and the grave is lined with masonry, and 
floored with cloth. This last is done, in order to prevent the in- 
cursion of white ants, which it seems, is the poor fellow's greatest 
fear. His feet, it is said, are turned inwards towards his stomach, 
and his hands pointed in the same direction, or towards his chest. 
His grave was about three feet long, two and a half feet wide, and 
about a yard deep. It was made through the floor of a small 
building of masonry twelve feet by eight feet. He was placed in 




a sitting posture. The door of the building was securely walled 
up. It was at his disinterment, at the end of a full month, that 
the English visitors saw him. He was taken out in a perfectly 
senseless state, his eyes closed, his hands cramped and powerless, 
his stomach shrunk very much, and his teeth jammed so fast to- 
gether that they were forced to open his mouth with an iron in- 
strument, to pour a little water down his throat. He gradually 
recovered his senses, and the use of his limbs, and when we went 
to see him, was sitting up, supported by two men, and conversed 
with us in a low gentle tone of voice, saying, " that we might bury 
him again for a twelvemonth if we pleased." 

A man in England, being sentenced to three years' imprison- 
ment, swallowed seven half crowns, lest they should be taken 
from him. No bad effects followed, but at the end of twenty- 
seven months, he complained of a slight pain and tenderness of 
his abdomen, and a dose of medicine brought away the whole 

Flavius Josephus mentions, that it was a frequent practice of 
the Jews, during the seige of Jerusalem, by Titus, for them to 
swallow pieces of gold, and then to desert to the Romans. These 
pieces were evacuated, after their desertion, and sufficed to pro- 
cure them the necessaries of life, which on account of the terrible 
famine reigning in the city, could not be procured at any price 

§ 14. A case was communicated to the Calcutta Medical 
Society, of a man, his wife and children, having been poisoned 
by the milk of a goat. This poisonous quality of the milk, was 
occasioned by the goat having been bitten by a snake. 

We have had something of this kind of malady in America, 
from persons having eaten of the flesh of animals which had 
been bitten by a mad dog. 

§ 15. A text of Scripture, read or recollected at a particular 
crisis, has determined a person as to the path of his duty, and as 
to acts of propriety, and even as to the state of his soul. Now, 
although all Scripture be in itself true, still its application, com- 
bination, and the deductions therefrom, may be erroneous. 


When it is said that Judas ivent and hanged himself, and when 
it is said, go thou and do likewise, whoever would combine the 
latter phrase with the former, would make a most unsanctified 
combination, authorizing the commission of self-murder, and 
undermining ail the original sense and meaning of these two 
distant and different passages of the Bible. 

Preachers, or those who would become preachers, have relied 
much upon opening the Bible, or by being directed by passages of 
Holy Writ falling upon their minds. 

A man engaged in threshing wheat, feels an inclination to leave 
that kind of business for preaching. The case of Gideon comes 
to his mind, in which the angel of the Lord commissioned Gideon 
to go and deliver Israel, as he was threshing wheat. All his 
doubts, if any remain, are dispelled by these words next coming 
to his eyes, ears, or mind, and which he applies to himself — 
"Arise, for the Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." 

A religious lady who is unmarried, has an eligible offer, but 
her suitor is not pious. Her doubts are all dissipated, her decis- 
ion is fixed by opening the Bible, and casting her eyes on these 
words ; — " Arise, therefore, and get thee down with the men, 
doubting nothing ; for I have sent them." 

" What thou doest do quickly," was an admonition upon a 
particular occasion, addressed to a particular person, and for a 
specific purpose, by Jesus himself. But how often and how er- 
roneously has this been applied to matters entirely different, and 
ill timed 1 Precipitancy and ruin may have been the consequence 
of these words misdirected, and sometimes applied to inexpedi- 
ent, mischievous and wicked purposes. 

§ 16. Mr. Jay tells us of his having read of a good old man, 
who used to exhort people to live by the ten commandments, and 
not by impulses ; and from this delusion of impulses, he used to 
tell how he got free himself, by reverting to the decalogue. 
When he was a lad, he was poor and pious, and thought all sug- 
gestions in scripture style came from heaven. Walking in a 
field, and being in want of firing, a neighbour's hedge presented 
itself, and he wished for some of it to burn. Instantly these 
word's came— In all this Job sinned not, and in faith of this, he 



began to make free with his neighbour's wood. But happily, he 
tried this text by the command,— Thou shall not steal, which 
brought his error to light ; or, as the ingenious relator remarks, 
the word of God might have led him out of tfaJ church into the 

§ 17. Some people have wisdom without being wise in its 
application. Some have much scripture knowledge, but fail in 
receiving its practical benefits. 

§ 18. Without sunshine, rain and air, no husbandman can 
have corn. His crop, therefore, depends upon what he cannot 
himself bestow. Still, it remains within his own power, to do 
much ; for if he sows flints, he will have no corn ; and even if he 
sows corn, upon fields unploughed, and lands untilled, his labour 
will be lost, although sunshine, warmth and rain, be liberally 

It has been very prettily observed, that a Christian should be 
like the sun, which does good, not by noise, but by shining. 

§ 19. In Sweden, at a wedding, the priest who marries the 
couple, sits at supper on one side the bride, whilst the bride- 
groom sits on the other. The priest then, after the ancient 
custom of that country, delivers an oration, in which he invites 


the Saviour to be present, as he was at the marriage feast of 
Cana, in Galilee. 

At a Swedish wedding, all kinds of wine are not present, but 
they make up* the deficiency by having all kinds of cheese. 
They have e<>g-cheese, toasted-cheese, sweet-cheese, and sour- 

§ 20. After the great earthquake which destroyed thirty thou- 
sand persons in Judea, in the time of Herod the first, and who, 
for his great many murders, is called Herod the great, he said to 
his soldiers, disturb not yourselves at the quaking of inanimate 
things. But Herod could not dissipate a sure proverb ; that 
afflictions are seldom forgotten, and mercies seldom remem- 

This earthquake happened the same year that the battle of 
Actium was fought. Herod, who had been an unwavering and 
efficient friend of Antony, came to Csesar after that battle, and 
desired him to remember how faithful a friend he had been, and 
not whose friend. The conqueror of Cleopatra and her para- 
mour, still continued Herod a king, and enlarged his dominions. 
This was Augustus Ccesar. 

Herod, who was capable of all sorts of the extremest wicked- 
ness, had still a noble soul, and a talent for great and splendid and 
magnificent undertakings. It was he who built the temple at 
Jerusalem, which was standing in the time of Christ, and his 
apostles, and which was destroyed by the Romans, under Titus. 
This was the last of the temples ; it being the third of those su- 
perb and costly structures ; the first of which was built by Solo- 
mon, which having felt the destructive ravages of time, fire and 
war, was rebuilt after the Babylonish captivity, by Zerubbabel ; 
and the third by Herod the Great, which is as yet the last ; al- 
though another and a fourth is looked for by the Jews, as foretold 
by the prophets, and which they mistakenly call the third. 

This building of the second temple, when Zerubbabel was gov- 
ernor of the Jews, merits a passing but particular notice. It was 
done by leave of Cyrus, king of the Persians, and the possessor 
of Babylon, by conquest ; for it was king Nebuchadnezzar, who 
carried the Jews into captivity, and who pillaged the temple, and 


carried the holy vessels and sacred furniture away to Babylon, 
together with the inhabitants of Jerusalem itself. 

§ 21. Human nature must be viewed in various ways, in order 
to complete its system, and the history of Cyrus a'ifords a curious 
picture, in its connections with history, both sacred and profane. 
It had been foretold by Jeremiah, before this Babylonish destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, and the captivity of its inhabitants, that after 
the Jews had served Nebuchadnezzar and his posterity, for sev- 
enty years, that they should be restored to the land of their 
fathers, and to the city of David and Solomon. The first year 
of king Cyrus, was the seventieth year from the day that the 
Jews were removed out of their own land into Babylon ; and in 
this year, the first year of the reign of Cyrus, who had access to 
the Jewish prophecies, and to the Bible, brought by the Jews to 
Babylon, he wrote as follows : — " Thus saith Cyrus the king, 
since God Almighty hath appointed me to be king of the habita- 
ble earth, I believe that he is that God which the nation of the 
Israelites worship, for indeed he foretold my name by the 
prophets, and that I should build him a house in Jerusalem, in 
the country of Judea." 

The foretelling the length of time that the Jews were to remain 
in the Babylonish captivity, was by Jeremiah, but this mention 
made of Cyrus, and of his own name having been foretold by 
God, is by Isaiah. 

" That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform 
all my pleasure ; even saying to Jerusalem, thou shalt be built, 
and to the temple, thy foundation shalt be laid." Isaiah xliv. 28. 

" This Cyrus is called God's shepherd by Xenophon, as well 
as by Isaiah." And the credibility of the historian is supported 
by those, and by these words of the prophet — " I will make a 
man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden 
wedge of Ophir." Isaiah xiii. 12. 

How Cyrus became acquainted with his duty, and of the will 
of God, in this matter, we are informed by Josephus, who says, 
" This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah 
left behind him of the prophecies ; for this prophet said, that God 
had spoken thus to him in a secret vision : " My will is, that 


Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be king over many and great 
nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my 

Thus was Cyrus led to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah, by having 
read the prophecy itself, and by having therein found himself 
pointed out as destined for the purpose. 

But Mr. Winston, the editor of the works of Josephus, thinks 
that the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, as a distinct work 
from that of rebuilding the temple, agreeably to this famous 
prophecy of Isaiah, cannot be found to have been accomplished, 
by, or in our Bibles. Nor indeed, can this prophecy be proved to 
have been fulfilled at all, from any other source except from Jose- 
phus alone.t 

Cyrus did not himself live to the period that this work was ac- 
complished, and upon his death, the Jews were interrupted by the 
neighbouring nations. These nations and their governors repre- 
sented Jerusalem as a bad city, and those who were rebuilding it 
as rebels, and a seditious people against kings. And by reason 
of these representations, it appears from the book of Ezra, in our 
Bibles, that the Jews were interrupted, and a decree issued pro- 
hibiting further proceedings. 

This decree was made by Artaxerxes, the immediate successor 
of Cyrus the great. But after Artaxerxes came Darius, who 
upon being desired to have the records of his house and court 
examined, found a decree of Cyrus, permitting the Jews to re- 
build their city and temple, and he accordingly did permit the 
work to proceed. And the temple was finished, as we read in 
Ezra, vi. 15, in the sixth year of Darius. 

One of the greatest accusations against Jerusalem was, that it 
had always been an enemy to kings. This is found both in Ezra 

* Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, Book xi. Chap. 1, sec. 2. Josephus 
tells us that this prediction of Isaiah, was one hundred and forty years before 
the temple was demolished. Both he and Eara, (Chap. I. v. 1,) refer to Jere- 
miah, as having foretold this captivity of the Jews, and that it should last seven- 
ty years. But in our present copies of the Bible, I have not found any such 
prediction by Jeremiah. It is probable, therefore, that both Ezra and Josephus 
had copies of the sacred writings more perfect than those which have come 
down to us. 

t See Note on the Antiquities of the Jews, Book xi. Chap. 1, sec. 1, p. 360. 



and in Josephus. Hence Artaxerxes suspended the work. But 
Darius, finding that the work had been decreed by Cyrus, reversed 
the order of Artaxerxes, and the Jews were suffered to proceed. 

§ 22. So eminent a person as was Cyrus, who was called 
God's shepherd, both by Xenophon and by Isaiah, merits a 
further notice. His death varies with the various historians of 
antiquity. By those who show his tomb at Persepolis, he is sup- 
posed to have died quietly, and to have been buried by his friends, 
decently, if not superbly, in his own dominions. By Josephus, 
we learn nothing but the death of Cyrus. But from other histo- 
rians, such as Diodorus, Herodotus, and Justin, we learn that 
Cyrus marched against a Scythian nation, called the Massagetse, 
and that he was defeated in a bloody battle, B. C. 530, by Tamy- 
ris, the victorious queen of the Massagetoe ; and that this victori- 
ous queen, incensed at the loss of her son, slain in a previous 
battle, cut off the head of Cyrus the Great, and threw it into a 
vessel filled with human blood. 

The destruction of the temple of Solomon, which is to be 
found in II. Chronicles xxxvi. 19, is recorded in the following 
words : — " And they burnt the house of God, and brake down 
the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, 
and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof." 

But this second temple, built where that of Solomon had stood, 
by the permission, and at the expense of Cyrus and Darius, was 
sixty cubits lower than the first temple, which was built by Solo- 
mon. It was Herod the Great, who erected the third temple, and 
who restored its altitude and dimensions to those of the temple of 

§ 23. Herod, in addressing the multitude of the Jews, upon 
this subject, observes that, " Our fathers, indeed, when they were 
returned from Babylon, built this temple to God Almighty ; yet 
does it want sixty cubits of its largeness in altitude, for so much 
did that first temple which Solomon built exceed this temple ; 
nor let any one condemn our fathers for their negligence or want 
of piety therein, for it was not their fault that the temple was no 
higher ; for they were Cyrus and Darius the son of Hystaspes, 


who determined the measure for its rebuilding ; and it hath been 
by reason of the subjection of those fathers of ours to them and 
to their posterity, and after them to the Macedonians, that they 
had not the opportunity to follow the original model of this pious 
edifice, nor could raise it to its ancient altitude ; but since I am 
now by God's will your governor, and I have had peace a long 
time, and have gained great riches and large revenues, and what 
is the principal thing of all, I am in amity with and well regarded 
by the Romans, who, if I may so say, are the rulers of the whole 
world, I Avill do my endeavour to correct that imperfection, which 
hath arisen from the necessity of our affairs, and the slavery we 
have been under formerly ; and to make a thankful return after 
the most, pious manner, to God, for what blessings I have re- 
ceived from him, by giving me this kingdom, and that by render- 
ing his temple as complete as I am able."* 

What a pious, what a submissive, what an unexceptionable 
speech, to fall from the mouth of a Herod ! But we call the read- 
er's attention to it most particularly, as illustrating the national 
character of the Jews ; a people who were wont to display the acts 
of the greatest piety to God, and of the greatest barbarity to men. 
For this same Herod put his beautiful wife Mariamne to death, 
who was a most excellent woman, and as Josephus remarks, the 
shrewdest woman in the world ; and for the love of whom, he, 
after her death, went mad. He also put to death his two sons, 
Aristobulus and Alexander. And his other murders were innu- 
merable. He was the Nero of the Holy Land. 

But of the temple, which Herod built, Josephus says that it was 
the most prodigious work ever heard of by man. It was this 
temple which the disciples came to Jesus to shew him the buildings 
of, and of which he prophesied that not one stone should be left 
upon another.t Herod, as Josephus tells us, took away the foun- 
dations of the old temple, and laid others in the days of Nero ; 
and that it was built of stones that were white and strong, each of 
the length of twenty-five cubits, their height eight cubits, and 
their breadth about twelve cubits. The whole length of the tem- 
ple, built by Herod, was one hundred cubits. Its strength, its 

* Antiquities of the Jews, Book xv. Chap. xi. § 1. 
t Matthew xxiv. 1, 2. 



cloisters, and adornings, were all upon a most magnificent and 
liberal scale, and cost more money than any one that preceded it. 
And this was only one of a great number of expensive structures 
erected by Herod, so that we are astonished at the. immensity of 
their cost, and puzzled to guess how the little kingdom of Judea 
could supply revenues for their erection. 

§ 24. His works at Cesarea, alone, which was a sea port of 
the Mediterranean, formerly called Strato's Tower, would seem 
to have been sufficient to have exhausted the revenues of a larjre 
country. For he there not only built sumptuous palaces, and 
large edifices, for containing the people, but he built also an 
artificial basin for ships, to guard them against the impetuous 
south winds, so that a fleet of large ships might lie in safety 
there. This he did by letting down stones of about fifty feet in 
length, not less than eighteen in breadth, and nine feet in depth, 
or thickness, into water of twenty fathoms, (one hundred and 
twenty feet,) deep ! And as some were lesser, so were others 
bigger than those dimensions. 

This mole was two hundred feet wide ; its entrance was on the 
north side, because the winds from that quarter were the stillest 
of all. It had a quay, or landing place, which ran round the 
entire haven, and which was a most agreeable walk. There was 
also a great number of arches, where the mariners dwelt. 

One half of this marine wall was adorned with several towers, 
one of which, and the largest, was named Drusus, after a son in 
law of Ccesar, who died young, and was a work of very great ex- 
cellence ; Herod always keeping an eye upon Rome and its great 
men, whom he found it his interest to honor, and occasionally to 
bribe. Upon this principle he erected a most costly and superb 
structure in Jerusalem, called the tower of Antonia, in honor of 
Mark Antony ; who, when in Egypt, and in possession of Cleopa- 
tra, had a paramount influence in the affairs of Jerusalem, and 
Judea. But it is not a little remarkable, that although Herod was 
much given to the sex, that Cleopatra, who visited him at Jericho, 
and offered him her own seduction, was refused by him. The 
old fox, feeling more ambition for the queen of Egypt's dominions, 
than love for her person, so that he had a serious intention of put- 


ting her to death, in order to become the possessor of her country ; 
or rather, perhaps, to break up her possession of a part of his own ; 
for she derived a part of her revenues from the country about 
Jericho, which bore a certain balsam, the most precious of all 
drugs. From this design, however, Herod's friends dissuaded 
him, as tending to embroil him with Antony, who was then in 
Egypt. He therefore instead of killing her, treated her kindly, 
gave her presents, and conducted her on her way towards Egypt. 
But in reality, he bore now, nor never, any high estimation of 
Cleopatra ; but ever considered her inimical to himself personally, 
although to some branches of his family she shewed her friend- 
ship in very important respects. 

§ 25. And this leads us to mention among the numerous 
murders committed by the orders of Herod, some of them, as 
serving to throw light upon the system of human nature itself, 
upon human tyranny in particular, and upon the ruling passion, 
even in death. 

Mariamne, the beautiful and beloved wife of Herod the Great, 
had an only brother, named Aristobulus. They were grand 
children of Hyrcanus the high priest. Their father, Aristobulus, 
was also high priest, and was the first of that order who assumed 
the title asking. Herod was the son of Antipater, an Idumean, 
and became connected with the royal lineage of the Jews, by 
marrying Mariamne, he having no royal blood by birth. 

Both Mariamne, and her brother Aristobulus, were extremely 
beautiful ; insomuch that Dellius, a friend of Mark Antony, who 
came into Judea, when he saw them, exclaimed that they could 
not be mortals, but must have originated from some god. 

Their mother's name was Alexandra, a woman who made a 
great figure in the court of her son in law, Herod. A s young 
Aristobulus was the son and grand son of high priests, Mariamne 
urged Herod to confer the same honor upon him, her brother, 
and make him high priest also. This Herod did, but took care 
to have him murdered soon afterwards ; being jealous of the 
popularity which he found him to possess, and which the people 
of Jerusalem manifested for their young high priest, who was 
very tall and handsome, and not yet eighteen years old. A most 


open display of admiration having been made for him upon his 
first officiating as high priest, at the feast of tabernacles, determin- 
ed Herod not to delay his destruction. 

Upon a certain very hot day, some of Herod'^s servants and 
acquaintance went into the fish ponds, of which there were large 
ones about his house at Jericho, to bathe. Herod, and the voung 
high priest, Aristobulus, were at first spectators of their swimming, 
but at the approach of the dark of the evening, the young man, 
at the instigation of Herod, went into the water amono- them; 
when such of Herod's creatures as he had appointed for the pur- 
pose, dipped him as he was swimming, and plunged him under 
water, as if it had been done in sport only. Nor did they desist, 
till he was entirely suffocated. And thus was Aristobulus mur- 
dered, being only in his eighteenth year, and having held the 
high priesthood one year only. Herod took care that none abroad 
should believe that the child's death took place by any design of 
his, or at least he so endeavored. And to carry on the deception 
he shed many tears himself, and made for the deceased a magni- 
ficent funeral, providing a great quantity of spices, and buryino- 
many ornaments together with him. 

Every family in Jerusalem considered the calamity not as if it 
belonged to another, but as if one of themselves was slain. Alex- 
andra, the young man's mother, was more deeply affected upon 
her knowledge that he was destroyed on purpose. Accordingly, 
she wrote to Cleopatra, how her son was murdered, who excited 
Antony to punish the young man's murder ; telling him that it 
was an unworthy thing that Herod, who had been made king by 
him, and that of a kingdom that no way belonged to him, should 
be guilty of such horrid crimes, against those who were of the 
blood royal, in reality. Antony was persuaded by these argu- 
ments, and when he came to Laodicea, he sent and commanded 
Herod to come and make his defence. Herod was in fear, both 
of the accusation and of Cleopatra's ill will, who was ever trying 
to make Antony hate him. But he determined to obey the sum- 
mons, having no plausible excuse, nor expedient way to avoid it. 
He therefore went, leaving his uncle Joseph, procurator of his 
government, to whom before his departure, he gave a private 
charge, that if Antony should kill him, that he should kill his 


■beautiful and beloved wife Mariamne, immediately; lie having 
an affection for her, that the thought of her being another's, even 
after his death, was intolerable ; and probably thinking that An- 
tony himself would seek to possess her, as the fame of her beauty 
had reached his ears. 

§ 26. Herod, however, by the rich presents which he carried 
to Antony, overcame his resentment, and he was suffered to re- 
turn to his kingdom, alive and well. It happened, however, that 
during his absence, that Joseph, who had frequent matters of 
business with the queen, in order to demonstrate the great affec- 
tion of Herod for her, mentioned his orders, to put her to death, 
in case he was put to death himself, as he could not endure a 
separation even after he was dead. Herod had a sister Salome, 
who was a woman of an intriguing and resentful disposition, and 
who felt no good will to Mariamne, because she had reproached 
her with the meanness of her birth. This woman informed Herod 
that Joseph had had frequent criminal conversation with his queen 
during his absence ; which was a base calumny, but sufficient to 
disturb the jealous disposition of Herod, whose affection for her 
was vehement. He therefore questioned her about it by herself, 
but she denied it upon her oath, and said all that an innocent 
woman could possibly say, in defence of her innocence ; so that 
Herod was prevailed upon to drop the suspicion, and returned a 
great many acknowledgements of her pure and virtuous conduct ; 
so that, lover-like, they both fell into tears, and embraced each 
other with a most tender affection. But as the king gave more 
and more assurances of his belief in her fidelity, and endeavored 
to draw her to alike confidence in himself, Mariamne said, " Yet 
was not that command thou gavest, that if any harm came to thee 
from Antony, I, who had been no occasion of it, should perish 
with thee, a sign of thy love to me." At these words king Herod 
was very much shocked, and presently let her go out of his arms, 
and cried out, and tore his hair with his own hands ; exclaiming, 
-that he had now an evident demonstration that Joseph had had 
criminal conversation with his wife ; for that otherwise he would 
never have uttered what he had told him by himself alone, unless 
there had been such a familiarity, and firm confidence between 



them. And whilst he was in this passion he had like to have 
killed Mariamne ; but being still overborne by his love for her he 
refrained from murder, but a lasting grief and disquietness of 
mind was the consequence. As to Joseph, he ordered him to be 
slain without permitting him to come into his sight. This Joseph 
was the husband of Herod's sister Salome, who was his niece as 
well as wife. 

Herod next murdered Hyreanus, the grandfather of his wife 
Mariamne, a man eighty years old, and upwards ; and who had 
been king and high priest. He had seen various turns of fortune, 
had been a prisoner to the Parthians, and to Antigonus, the latter 
of whom cut off his ears, that he might never be high priest ao-ain • 
it being contrary to the law of Moses, (Lev. xxi. 17 — 24,) that 
any one should hold the priesthood who was not without blemish. 

§ 27. After the battle of Actium, and the death of Mark An- 
tony and Cleopatra, and the elevation of Augustus Caesar to the 
empire, Herod sailed away to Rhodes, to pay his respects to the 
conqueror. Upon this occasion he left Mariamne, and her 
mother Alexandra, in the care of his treasurer Joseph, and Sohe- 
mus of Iturea ; and with a charge that if they should hear that 
any mischief had befallen him, that they should kill them both. 
For he had some suspicion of Augustus, from his having been the 
friend of Antony. 

But the ladies were much dissatisfied with Herod's arrange- 
ment ; for instead of being left in a palace, they were put into a 
fortress, and they considered Joseph and Sohemus rather as their 
keepers than servants. To the latter, therefore, they used kind 
words, and made liberal presents, and he considering that if 
Herod should not return, that these women would probably sus- 
tain prominent situations in the succeeding government, at length 
made known to them the secret orders of Herod for their own 
destruction, in case he should not come back. Mariamne now 
thought Herod's affection to her hypocritical, when she called to 
mind the former orders of the same kind ; and she began to see 
that there was no end to the dangers which she was exposed to 
from Herod, so that she wished that he might obtain no favors 
from Caesar. She found her future prospects of happiness blasted, 


so long as he lived ; and as to any thing after his death, in case 
she survived him, she found that he was determined that she 
should be put to death as soon as he himself was dead. These 
things she openly declared, without concealing her resentment. 

And now Herod returned home with joy, for he had made 
Ceesar his friend, who established the crown upon his head more 
firmly than ever; and to whom the king of the little kingdom of 
Judea had presented eight hundred talents, as well as provisions 
and wine for his army, as it was marching from Syria to invade 
Egypt. But Caesar greatly increased Herod's dominions, and 
restored to him those parts which Cleopatra had possessed in her 
lifetime. He also added to his kingdom Gadara, Hippos, and 
Samaria ; and besides these, the maratime cities, Gaza, Anthe- 
don, Joppa, and Strato's Tower, afterwards Cesarea. 

But as Herod's affairs prospered with Csesar, they declined in 
his own family. His mother and sister Salome, were in irrecon- 
cileable hatred to Mariamne ; the latter having often reproached 
them with the meanness of their birth ; and who lately, to Herod 
himself, had behaved in an imperious and saucy manner, taking 
advantage of his extreme affection for her, and resenting the or- 
ders which he had twice left behind him, when he went abroad, 
to have her put to death in case he did not return. She finally 
sealed her own fate, by refusing him her embraces, and by re- 
proaching him with the murder of her relations. 

§ 28. That Sohemus had divulged to Mariamne his secret 
orders, was discovered by Herod's ordering a eunuch, belonging 
to her to be put to the torture. He therefore ordered Sohemus to 
be slain immediately ; but as to Mariamne he had a kind of mock 
trial of her case, which ended by her being condemned to death. 
She met her fate with a dignity becoming her royal descent, her 
excellent character, and greatness of soul. 

But Herod was severely punished, by an inflammation of the 
brain, a pain in the back of his head, and downright madness ; 
so that he would call for Mariamne, and order his servants to call 
her, as though she were still alive. And when she did not come, 
his lamentations would break forth in a most boisterous and vio- 
lent manner. 


A pestilential disease also broke out about the same period, 
which carried off the greater part of the friends whom Herod 
most of all esteemed ; so that all men suspected that this distem- 
per was brought upon them from the anger of Gods for the injus- 
tice that had been done to Mariamne. This circumstance 
afflicted the king still more ; so that at length despair seized him, 
and he went into desert places and bitterly afflicted himself. 

But notwithstanding, he did not leave off murdering, for he 
soon had Alexandra, the mother of his late wife slain, as also 
Costobarus, the husband, after her first husband's death, of his 
sister Salome. This he did not do, however, until Salome had 
quarrelled with her husband, Costobarus, and dissolved their 
marriage by sending him a bill of divorce. Thus it appears that 
women did sometimes divorce their husbands, among the Jews, 
although the laws of Moses only gave permission for a husband 
to divorce his wife.* 

With his sister's husband, Herod slew five other persons, three 
of whom were his own most intimate friends. Nor did his distress 
for Mariamne, nor his affection for her, prevent his again falling in 
love. The obligations he was under to Csesar, and the respect 
which he had for him, induced him to imitate the customs of Rome, 
to the scandal of the Jewish customs, and to the grief of the strict 
and religious Jews ; for he built a theatre at Jerusalem, and an 
amphitheatre on the plain, where chariot races, musicians, wrest- 
lers, and games, were encouraged by liberal prizes to the victors. 
He made also a great collection of lions, and of such other wild 
beasts as were of uncommon strength, or rarely seen. Some of 
the exercises for which great rewards were offered to the victors, 
were performed by men entirely naked. 

Inscriptions of the great actions of Caesar, and trophies of those 
nations which he had conquered in his wars, and all made of the 
purest gold and silver, encompassed the theatre itself. Men were 
exhibited contending with ferocious wild beasts, either to please 
the multitude, or for hire, or as criminals, which were thrown to 
them to be torn in pieces. 

Herod soon after married a young lady, having the reputation 
of the most beautiful woman in the world. She was the daughter 

Antiquities of the Jews, B. 15, C. 7, p. 533. 


of Simon, a citizen of Jerusalem. And to elevate her and her 
family to a dignity becoming royalty, Herod displaced the high 
priest then in office, and elevated his wife's father to the high 




§ 1. Woman was not made of the dust of the earth like man 
and all other creatures ; but she was made of a part of man. 
That part did not contain his heart, brain nor soul, however. 
Adam said she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, but he 
did not say she was mind of his mind. She had a mind of her 
own. It has often been said that Mahomet taught that women 
had no souls. This point was thought of so much consequence 
to determine, that the divines of Berlin made a prize question of 
it. A thorough examination of the Koran was made, and the 
prize obtained. But the result was, that it contained no such 
assertion. It was entirely silent upon the subject. This matter 
then, may be considered as decided, and at rest. 

In savage nations, women are the servile slaves of the men, 
and the more barbarous the tribe, the more degraded the females. 

§ 2. It is Christianity that has elevated the female sex to their 
present eminent station in society. Among the Jews, a wife was 
a wife, just as long as her husband pleased to consider her so. 
When he had a mind to put her away, all he had to do was to 
give her a writing of divorcement. This writing merely stated 
that he would not any longer live with her as a wife. She had 
then liberty to marry another man. It was entirely foreign from 
the ideas of a Jew, when he married, or when he formed the 
marriage contract, that it was for life. 


The disparity of power and privilege between the sexes, was 
very striking in the Jewish nation. A man might have his son 
put to death for being a glutton, a wine-bibber, or for disobedi- 
ence. A woman had no such power. In time of mourning, a 
man might shave his head and rend his clothes, a woman might 
do neither. A man might subject his son to the vow of a Naza- 
rite, a woman could not do it. A man might betroth his daugh- 
ter, or even sell her, neither of which his wife could do. The 
women were not permitted to assemble in the body of the syna- 
gogue with the men. They were consigned to the galleries, 
where they, on account of the lattices and want of light, could 
not be seen, nor scarcely see. They were in many respects, 
treated more like children than like persons of mature age. 

A Jew had no notion of confining himself to one woman for 
life, nor even for a part of his life. Hence polygamy and concu- 
binage were universal in the patriarchal age, and amongst the 
patriarchs themselves. And what would seem very foreign from 
the ideas of Christians, concubines were assigned by wives to 
their husbands. Rachel assigned to Jacob, her handmaid Bil- 
hah, and Leah, her maid Zilpah. 

§ 3. Concubines even seem to have taken the precedence of 
wives. When David, in the rebellion of Absalom, fled beyond 
Jordan, he left the care of his royal house to his ten concubines. 
And this, so far as we recollect, is the only instance of any thing 
like a female regency among the Jews. After this rebellion was 
quelled, David did not, as we are told, go in to these women 
any more. This was owing to the conduct of Absalom, by the 
advice of Ahithophel, when he had fled towards these his concu- 
bines. He maintained them, however, in the royal residence 
after the rebellion was quelled, so long as they lived. But what 
struck us as a matter of curiosity, in this affair, was that they are 
said to have lived in a state of widowhood. (II. Samuel xx. 3.) 

§ 4. Polygamy was not only allowed and practised among 
the Hebrews, but in a certain case ordained. When a brother 
died without children, and left a widow, the surviving 'brother 
was directed to take her and raise up seed unto his brother ; and 


there was no exception made as to his having one or more wives 

In ancient Greece, polygamy did not prevail. If it was per- 
mitted it was not practised. Women were deified in Greece. 
Rhece, Proserpine, Juno, Venus, and Minerva, were instances of 
the elevation of women to goddesses. The social state of the 
sex, therefore, was there, far above what it was in Judea. In 
this respect, the English and Americans, more partake of Gre- 
cian than of Jewish customs. 

England has been called the heaven of women, and the hell 
of horses. The cataracts, the lakes, the caves, the mountains, 
the sea-shore, the city, the country, and the springs, tempt the 
ladies, and jaunt the horses. 

§ 5. At the highest point of civilization and splendor in Ju- 
dea, which was in the time of Solomon, the women were the 
family spinners, and weavers, and clothiers ; the girdle-sellers 
abroad, and the body-iinen makers at home. This was true, 
likewise, in the Augustan age at Rome. The queen and daugh- 
ter of Augustus, manufactured the clothes of that emperor, with 
their own hands, assisted by their servants. 

The oracle of religion was Judea, the cradle of arts and intel- 
lect, Greece, and the cradle of arms, Rome. 

Infanticide was practised in Greece, when the infant did not 
appear to be worth raising, from deformity, idiocy, or imbecility. 
It was there, also, that the wanton prevailed over the statesman, 
the soldier, and the philosopher. Beautiful women were far less 
common in Greece, than in Judea, but they had more mind; and 
when a beautiful woman became a courtezan, and was endowed 
with superior mental powers, she bore a sway unbounded, and 
entirely unknown in modern times. And what is not a little 
curious, if not unparalleled, they appear to have elevated the 
minds of their paramours, instead of debasing them. 

It has even been supposed, that the great and good, and philo- 
sophic Socrates, owed something of his superior talents to As- 
tasia ; and that Pericles, that superior soldier, statesman and 
citizen, had his mind magnetized from the same source. He 
made Aspasia his mistress, and afterwards his wife. Even Plato 


attests to the excellency of her accomplishments. She was a 
teacher of eloquence at Athens. And he does not hesitate, in 
awarding to her instructions, the formation of some of the most 
eloquent oratolrs of the age. A very high encomium from such a 
source surely. Still, that the morals of the Athenians suffered 
from the conduct of Pericles, towards Aspasia, there can be no 
doubt. With personal charms of the very first order, she possess- 
ed a superior elevation, we can hardly call it excellence of mind. 

§ 6. There was another woman of the same name, and almost 
equally pre-eminent, both for her personal charms, and under- 
standing. She was born in Ionia, a country of Asia Minor, in 
the town of Phocce. She was priestess to the Sun, and mistress 
to three kings, to Cyrus first, afterwards to Artaxerxes, and then 
to Darius. 

Without such stimuli, such over excitement, philosophers 
might not have philosophized, nor generals fought, nor orators 
have been heard, nor kings have conquered. But what then ? 
Perhaps the world, and especially its brightest gem, morality, 
had been better off* without than with towering talents, from such 
a source. 

In the time of Lycurgus, female influence showed itself in 
another form. It was not in single cases of exalted beauty, but 
in the united efforts of the feminine community in general ; and 
their influence was directed, and their talents exerted, in rousing 
the whole arm-bearing population to deeds of valour, heroic and 

To individuals of the sex, we might refer for much of heathen 
glory ; but alas for that precious gem, virtue ! 

Lais was a courtezan of Corinth, who sold her favors for ten 
thousand drachma. Poets, philosophers, and even cynics, throng- 
ed around her, and he would have been disgraced, who had 
possessed so little of taste, that he did not admire her, or at least 
pretend so to do. That Alcibiades, was her paramour, is not 
surprising, but that Diogenes, who lived in a tub, and who told 
Alexander the Great, when he came to see him, that he wanted 
nothing of him, except that he would stand out of his sunshine, 
lived by her smiles, is truly marvellous. Lais was finally put to 



death, by a combination of married women, for fear that she 
would corrupt their husbands ; an act not to be justified most 
certainly, to commit murder for fear that adultery mi°-ht be com- 
mitted. It helps, however, to form a part of Ahe history of 

The accumulation of wealth, by some of the ancient courte- 
zans was truly surprising. 

§ 7. One of this descriplion, Phryne by name, had amassed 
such vast treasures by her profession, that she offered to rebuild 
the whole city of Thebes, at her own expense. She flourished at 
Athens, about 238 years before the Christian era, and was mis- 
tress to Praxitilles, the famous sculptor. He drew her picture, 
which was such a master piece of art, and delineated so beautiful 
an original, that it was placed in the temple of Apollo at Delphi. 

Solomon, who was so well acquainted with all sorts of women, 
awards the meed of excellence to the truly virtuous and industri- 
ous — to her who despises the baubles and glitter of life ; the 
paths of the vicious, and who putteth her hand to the distaff, and 
who makes the domestic circle her home, her palace. The frail- 
ties of great men form the comfort and delight of fools, and he 
who fixes his eye on deformity, is himself deformed. This re- 
mark forcibly applies to the character of Solomon, and to the use 
that some persons make of his failings. 

§ 8. Some of the most striking events which the world has 
known, have had their origin from women. The chastity of the 
virtuous Lucretia was violated by the son of Tarquin the proud. 
But Rome adequately revenged her cause. Mortified, past the 
endurance of life, she perished by a dagger, wielded by her own 
hand. And the consequences were, that the Tarquins were ex- 
pelled from Rome, the monarchy was abolished, and a republi- 
can government established in its stead. 

Another Roman lady, Virginia, was taken captive by Appius 
Claudius, one of the Decemvirs ; but before his vile purposes 
were consummated, her father arrived from the camp and desired 
to see his captive danghter. His request was granted ; when he 
snatched a knife and plunged it into Virginia's breast, exclaim- 


ing, " This is all my dearest daughter, I can give thee, to pre- 
serve thy chastity from the lust and violence of a tyrant." The 
bloody knife was shown to the soldiers by Virginia's father, who 
were so incenised that they immediately marched to Rome. Ap- 
pius was seized and committed to prison, where he destroyed 
himself to prevent the execution of the law. A revolution was 
the consequence, and the government of the Decemvirs abol- 

Volumnia, the mother of Coriolanus, preserved Rome from its 
impending destruction. Coriolanus, from the ingratitude of 
Rome, had joined its enemies, the Valsci, and would have de- 
stroyed his native city, had it not been for the intercessions of his 
mother and wife. The readers of Shakspeare, are already in- 
formed of these particulars, in the tragedy of Coriolanus. The 
Roman senate decreed to Volumnia, whatever reward she should 
ask ; and pleasing to relate, her request extended to her whole 
sex. It was that a temple should be erected to female fortune. 
Such a temple was erected, and situated upon the identical spot, 
where she had arrested the career of her son. 

We delight to trace the feelings, and even some of the faults of 
females, when they are feminine ; for when faults are found, as 
they are the common lot of humanity, we expect to find them 
less o-larinff than in the other sex. But when women desert their 
standard and assume the masculine character, we find them off 
their ground. They are out of place, although they may not act 
out of character. 

In feats of horsemanship, in the circus, with bows and arrows, 
or pistols or muskets, and more especially in fencing and wrest- 
ling, a woman is like a dog or a bear walking on his hind legs. 
They may excite the mirth of the mob and the shouts of the 
vulgar ; but the pity or the derision of the refined and well-bred 
man, surely awaits them. 

§ 9. No polished man, of modern times, ever viewed the 
Spartan female character with any great complacency, although 
he might be compelled to admit that martial deeds may have 
sprung from it. There was not that display of tenderness and 
feeling which is the brightest ornament of beauty. The stern 


heart of man, requires delicacy in woman. The Spartan mother, 
when her son was about to depart for the field of blood and 
battle, delivered him his shield herself, exhorting him to conquer 
or die, telling him to bring back his shield, or dead or wounded, 
to be brought back upon it. " Either this or upon this," were 
her words. They were martial but not maternal. 

We have seen in our short travels, women laboring in the corn- 
fields of western New York. In time of peace, if men do their 
duty, it is seldom necessary for women to do this. Let the Solo- 
mon and Augustine ages be the standard. Exclude all from the 
field, and none from the distaff. But all antiquity was made up 
of extremes. It is Christianity which has levelled the asperities 
of Paganism and Judaism, and given women a station in society 
but little lower than the angels. The ancient Germans took their 
wives with them into the field of battle ; but the ancient Romans 
took not their women with them even to their social parties. 
Among the Jews, women and children, and slaves and concu- 
bines, were very much on a level. We are to account for the 
frequent scenes of blood and murder, assassination and treache- 
ry, among the ancients, from their social circles having been 
wholly composed of males. Matters of this kind are seldom 
perpetrated without previous concert ; and in circles where the 
softer sex are excluded, such concerts are held. 

It is female society that has tempered the mortar of modern 
times ; and it is modern times that have produced such females 
as Hannah More, Miss Edgeworth, Madame de Stael, and Jose- 
phine. Surely Buonaparte could not say as did Solomon, that he 
had not found one good woman in a thousand. (Eccles. vii. 28.) 

§ 10. It is Christianity, let the sect be what it may, that has 
elevated the female character to its proper dignity. And it has 
surprised me, that as it has removed female happiness and com- 
fort to the farthest extreme from the savage state, that the women 
of our savage tribes, have not discovered it, and been more ready 
to embrace its precepts. How immensely superior are the com- 
forts of the slaves of the South, to those of the Indians of the 
West ! There is no comparison betwixt them as it relates to the 


It is an interesting matter of inquiry why women of barbarous 
countries, so readily received the Gospel in ancient times, and 
are so backward in that respect now. It was however, true, that 
all classes seem to have been more easy to convert in the early 
ages of our era than at present. Convents afforded women a 
home, a shelter, a safe abode, from violation and hardship ; and 
this is undoubtedly one reason. Still, it does not solve the whole 
difficulty, for the Roman Catholics of Mexico^ have convents 
now, but female savages do not resort to them. Indeed, we can- 
not learn that the Romanists of the South, have made any great- 
er progress in converting the Indians, than the Protestants of the 
North. Monastic institutions appear to have been formed for the 
purpose, at least in part, for sheltering the defenceless, in the 
world's dark and barbarous ages. And it would seem that some- 
thing of the kind would ever have an admirable effect in coun- 
tries which had no laws, but those which suffered the strong to 
trample on the weak ; the ruthless to despoil the innocent. 

Are modern barbarians made of " sterner stuff," than ancient 
ones ? or is there a physical difference of constitution 1 I suspect 
that the latter may be true as relates to the American aborigines, 
and that the sexual appetite is less imperative. Our Indians 
frequently take female white prisoners, but we never hear of cases 
of violation. Not so in the case where negroes have white women 
in their power. 

§ 11. The Jews were a nation, the male part of it, very much 
given to libidinous passions ; and this is one reason why I cannot 
agree with Mr. Boudinot, that our Indians are descended from 
the lost ten tribes, as he supposes. 

Some impute the cause of the ancient heathen more readily 
embracing the Gospel, to the greater purily in the lives of Chris- 
tians. In ancient Rome, at its first settlement, the inhabitants 
were wholly men, who had to go among another nation to pro- 
cure themselves wives. Thus courtship was short, and carried on 
by companies of men, who went by dozens and scores among 
the Sabines. So scarce and so dear was the sex, that he who 
could procure a woman, immediately made her his wife. But 
'courtship proceeded upon a larger scale at last ; and a small 


army of men carried to Rome an army of women. This is 
called the rape of the Sabine women. 

The Romans were prosperous without the other sex, but they 
were not happy. The Sabine men resented tHe affront, and 
declared war ; but we hear of no complaint whatever from the 
women. Wives became mothers, and in process of time grand- 
mothers. All the endearments of social life, and family attach- 
ment, followed on in course. They became domesticated to the 
homes of their husbands, and as a natural consequence, to the 
city of Rome. 

Romulus, with his twin-brother Remus, had been thrown into 
the river Tiber, when infants, by the orders of an uncle of theirs; 
for they had royal blood in their veins. They seem, however, to 
have floated on shore, and were suckled by a she wolf, until some 
shepherds found them, carried them home, and brought them up 
as their own children. 

Romulus was the founder and builder of Rome ; for when the 
twins grew up, they put their uncle, who had treated them so 
barbarously, and who had usurped the throne, to death. 

It is not surprising that he who had sucked a wolf, should have 
highly esteemed women, and that his subjects should have done 
likewise. The high admiration of the human face divine, when 
that face adorned the female form, the high estimation of female 
virtues and graces, and the superior privileges of the sex, may be 
referred to their first king having been nursed by a wild beast, and 
to the scarcity of wives, at the first settlement of Rome. 

To praise women in the tribune, to eulogise them "at their 
funerals, and to erect monuments to their memory, when dead, 
were things done by the most noble men of that noble nation ; 
and they were acts which reverberated back upon the actors, the 
meed of gallantry and gratitude. The women were made priest- 
esses ; the vestal virgins had the care of the sacred fire, and the 
custody of those shrines which required keepers of spotless 
purity. Still, it must not be forgotten, that some could be found, 
even in those early and vestal times, who degraded the dignity of 
their sex, and disgraced their origin. A Catiline and a Clodius, 
could be admitted into the private apartments of the first married 
ladies in Rome. 


Julia Augusta, was the only daughter of Augustus Csesar. 
She was remarkable for her beauty and genius, and more re- 
markable for her unbounded licentiousness. A disgrace to the 
royal line, the^uckless girl was stoned to death by Tiberias, the 
successor of Augustus. However ill deserving Julia might have 
been, she fell a victim to a cruel and barbarous tyrant. 

Another Julia, the daughter of Germanicus, was still more in- 
famous for her debaucheries. She was the sister of Caligula, 
who is accused of being her first seducer. He finally banished 
her upon suspicion of conspiracy. She was after a while recall- 
ed by the emperor Claudius, whose murder she brought about by 
the intrigues of Agripina, his wife, by means of poison. Julia, 
at the time of being guilty of such monstrous crimes, was scarce- 
ly twenty-four years of age. Agripina, was accessory to the 
death of her husband, that her son might succeed to the crown. 
Women sometimes love their sons better than they do their hus- 

A third Julia, was the daughter of the excellent emperor Titus. 
She prostituted herself to her brother, the emperor Domitian. 

The first Julia, we have not mentioned yet. She was a model 
of virtue and excellence, the daughter of Julius Ceesar. She was 
well married, but her father compelled her to divorce her husband, 
in order to her marrying Pompey the great. She died suddenly 
in childbed. 

The history of Roman women, abounds with virtue the most 
splendid, and vices the most abominable. The contrast was 
greater at Rome than at Jerusalem. There was no country in 
which widows mourned their husbands so long as in Jewry, how- 
ever ; a trait of character in the Jewesses, which proved their 
connubial attachment, however rare such examples were set them 
by the men. 

§ 12. Judith had been a widow three years and four months, 
when the Assyrians besieged her place of residence. This was 
Bethulia, a city situated between Jerusalem and Jericho. And 
all this time — this three years and four months — she had fasted, 
except upon the Sabbaths, and Sabbath evenings, upon the eves 
of the new moons, and other festivals of her nation. With re- 


gard to the Jewish fasts, however, it is said, that they were ob- 
served generally only in the day time, and that the faster ate at 
night. From the great length of time that Judith is said to have 
fasted, this is probably the case. For as we lean*, she was still 
extremely beautiful; whereas, she must have been extremely 
emaciated, if not dead, had it been otherwise. 

She had also all this time worn sackcloth, and dwelt in a tent 
on the top of her flat roofed house. Her husband, Manasses, 
had died in barley harvest, by a coup de solid, or stroke of the 
sun ; a disease whi